Thank you Xcel Energy!

From left, field specialist Sean Wickhem, youth leaders Sean Gokey and Zola Pineles, Xcel’s Colette Jurek, youth leaders Jane Dunlap and Andrew Moua and program director Eric Antonson.On August 10, Colette Jurek, Xcel Energy community relations manager, presented a $5,000 check to Conservation Corps youth leaders for Youth Outdoors. With support from project partners and charitable funders, such as Xcel Energy, Youth Outdoors is expanding enrollment by more than 70 percent in 2013 and will serve 144 Twin Cities youth from low-income households. Young adult Conservation Corps members, pictured here, lead youth in job skills and civic leadership training, environmental science education and service projects afterschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Saturdays, youth engage volunteers in neighborhood park cleanups and beautification. Last year, they led more than 1,400 volunteers. Through its focus area grants, Xcel Energy supports nonprofit organizations that improve science, technology, engineering, economics and math education; improve and enhance the natural environment; help individuals achieve economic self-sufficiency and provide access to arts and culture.