Making Changes, Taking Charge


Sadly, the birds have fared better than some of the young men and women. “There's a wall dedicated to the Corps members who have lost their lives,” said Nixon, “to happenstance of where you live and where your resources are.”

Angered by the manner in which their fallen compatriots were being overlooked by the DC community at large, ECC Corps members, alongside Bob Nixon, created a documentary called “Endangered Species,” about the plight of urban youth.

But other students have been lucky. Rodney Stotts was an early Corps member. Before the ECC, he dealt drugs on the streets of Anacostia.

“You can’t feel good about anything you have,” he told 60 Minutes, “because it was ill-gotten gains.”

Stotts was not available for comment, but both Hobson and Sarah Nixon spoke of him as an exemplary Corps member. Now a master falconer-in-training, Rodney oversees youth programming at Wings Over America, and maintains an active relationship with ECC as a mentor and advisory board member.

“ECC is about taking ownership and responsibility of your community,” said Hobson. “A lot of kids don't feel empowered to take control of their lives. Whatever happens, happens. Through the program, in having a responsibility to the community, they realize ‘if I can make environmental changes in my own community, I can also make significant changes in my own life. If I can make changes in my community, I can also make changes in myself.’” 

About the Author: Holly Leber is the editorial director of the Daily Do Good, and a freelance writer and editor.