BEND, Ore. -

Heart of Oregon Corps announced Wednesday that it was awarded $12,000 in funding for the Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps crews in Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, and the Crooked River National Grassland. 

The summer "work, learn, earn" program enables high school aged youth to complete environmental conservation projects on local public lands while earning wages, high school credit and college scholarships.  COYCC is a collaborative program of Heart of Oregon Corps, the U.S. Forest Service, and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.

Executive Director Laura Handy shared, "We're grateful for The Collins Foundation's choice to invest in the cooperative effort.  Their support will help us employ approximately 100 youth who will earn $400,000 in wages and $40,000 in college scholarships while accomplishing more than 36,000 hours of critical conservation work."

"Our Board of Trustees recognizes the value of maintaining healthy forests and the need to empower youth with job skills and education," said Cynthia Addams, Executive Vice President of The Collins Foundation.  "We're pleased to help Heart of Oregon Corps develop the next generation of conservationists."

About The Collins Foundation

The Collins Foundation is an independent private foundation, created in 1947 by Truman W. Collins and the E.S. Collins family.  The foundation exists to improve, enrich, and give greater expression to humanitarian endeavors in Oregon and to assist in improving the quality of life in the state.

About Heart of Oregon Corps

The mission of Heart of Oregon Corps is to inspire and empower positive change in lives of young people through jobs, education and stewardship.  Founded in 2000, the agency operates six job skills training and education programs across five Central Oregon counties.  COYCC will run June 24th through August 15th, 2013.  Applications are accepted. Visit www.heartoforegon.org.