August Jefferson Award Winner: Patrick Brittain
COLUMBIA (WACH) For five and a half months, Patrick Brittain served as an AmeriCorps team motivator, living and working with other service members 24/7 to help people facing devastation.
"After Hurricane Matthew we were in the Conway area and Nichols and there was a lot of flooding," said Brittain, "you could see on people's walls about three or four feet. We cleared out people's houses, we tried to retarp peoples roofs, just kind of do whatever we could for to kind of bring that community back."
Patrick immediately stood out as a passionate leader, constantly reminding his team the impact they were having on other's lives and why they were there.
"You could tell everyone that you worked with really appreciated all of the work that was being done. It was cool being able to be the one that if they had a tree fall on their house, we helped them get the trees off and being able to tarp off their roof so that the water didn't leak in anymore."
He made such an impression that the Palmetto Conservation Foundation created a position for him at just 23-years-old.
Brittain said, "Whenever it was time for my contract to end with AmeriCorps the people here at Palmetto Conservation asked if I would be interested in staying on as a full time staff member, and of course I jumped at it."
From earth day events, to boy scout troop meeetings, and family day events, Brittain is an advocate for national service and environmental stewardship.
"If trails are down people aren't going to go out and hike them, they're not going to go out and see nature, they're going to be stuck inside on their phone or trying to find another outlet."
Living the AmeriCorps pledge, to get things done for America, to make people safer, smarter and healthier, bringing Americans together to strengthen his community, "if it's going to your park and picking up litter, everything makes a difference, there's no just one piece of it," said Brittain.
If you know someone you think is deserving of a Jefferson Award, nominate them here.