Name: Justin Epps
Division: SWA Crew Member
Time with SWA Division: 1 year, 2 months
Q. What were you doing before ACE?
A. I was in another AmeriCorps program called National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) after I graduated college in 2018 and I was with them until summer of 2019. After that I worked in construction for a year until I swapped over to working a night shift at a local grocery store when Covid hit.
Q. How did you hear about ACE?
A. A friend of mine from NCCC mentioned in one of our conversations that he was interviewing with ACE. I asked him a little about it and then went and did my own research and dropped an application.
Q. What’s your favorite aspect of being an ACE Crewmember?
A. Definitely the community. The people you live and work with become your entire world and that’s not something you can find with almost any other job out there. Not only that but almost everyone I’ve met here always has an interesting story to share and a personality to match.
Q. What’s been your favorite project?
A. Definitely my first hitch at the Gila National Forest back in May. It was my first backcountry hitch so I got to learn a lot about hanging bear bags and how to properly pack for back country. We had a great crew out there also and the area is just so breathtaking.
Q. How do you fill your time outside of ACE?
A. I spend a lot of time climbing at the Beta Bouldering Gym in Flagstaff. Outside of that I like to play pick-up games of pool at one of the local bars with other ACErs.
Q. What advice would you give to prospective members looking to join ACE?
A. My advice would be that ACE can definitely be a lot to handle, but if you’re looking for a foot in the door on jobs with federal or state governments or maybe you just want to try something else for a while, do it.