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Courtesy photo Amanda Chouinard, left, and teammate Shannon Malone work at on a reconstruction project in New Orleans to bring homeowners displaced by Hurricane Katrina back to their former homes. Chouinard, a 2009 graduate of Londonderry High School, just completed 10 months of service in AmeriCorps.

LONDONDERRY — Amanda Chouinard, a 2009 graduate of Londonderry High School, recently completed 10 months of service with AmeriCorps' National Civilian Community Corps.

Chouinard, who arrived at National Civilian Community Corps' Southwest region campus in Denver on Oct. 14, 2009, to begin her service, graduated from the program on July 27.

Chouinard and her team of about 10 other members completed a series of six- to eight-week-long projects in different communities across the country.

Projects included reconstruction work in New Orleans to bring homeowners displaced by Hurricane Katrina back to their former homes; a community action project in Tulsa, Okla., providing free tax preparation services to low-income families and individuals; working with the Missouri Department of Conservation in Williamsburg, Mo., doing invasive species removal, fence removal and native species seed collection to help restore tallgrass prairie, an imperiled ecosystem that occupies less than 1 percent of its former range in Missouri and North America; and responding to the flooding disaster in Corinth, Miss., by gutting flooded apartments.

The graduating class responded to 11 disaster call-outs nationwide this year in partnership with the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the United States Forest Service.

AmeriCorps' National Civilian Community Corps certifies 100 percent of its members in disaster relief, and has responded to every national disaster since the program began in 1994.

Chouinard is the daughter of Donald and Betty Chouinard.

In exchange for their service, AmeriCorps members receive $5,350 to help pay for college or to pay back student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, leadership development, team building skills, increased self-confidence and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can make a difference.

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