Kyle Brown - AmeriCorps VISTA serving at Highlands Center in Prescott

Selected to serve at Highlands Center for Natural History for Arizona Serve at Prescott College – AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), Kyle Brown has proven that arriving in a new community can be both challenging and interesting. He has discovered that accepting responsibility for designing environmentally science-based educational programs, and developing instructive opportunities for community members for the same is not only possible, but that personal and professional growth and thriving are inherent in those processes.

Located in Prescott on an 80-acre campus, Highlands Center is nestled within the Lynx Lake Recreation Area and is adjacent to Lynx Creek. The mission at the nonprofit is to help community members of all ages discover the natural wonders of the land and become wise caretakers so that the native environment will be preserved – including all species of plants and animals – for generations to come.

In addition, the Highland Center is located 10 miles from the Prescott National Forest. In fact, the national forest staff brings animal carcasses that have died by natural causes or accidents to Highlands Center to send out for sanitation processing so that the categorization of artifacts (skulls, bones, etc.) can be cataloged and used to teach. In addition, geology kits have been established with rocks and stones of all kinds, some with copper and other minerals, for instructing learners about Yavapai County natural resources.

“My time as a VISTA member, so far, has been a challenging task as many would suspect, but it is in these challenges I have been able to strengthen myself and the community. We have an option, we can either run from the face of adversity or choose to accept it. Although (challenges can be) unpleasant in many cases, accepting a challenge gives you the opportunity to grow and be better for it. Choose to be that leader by empowering yourself and the community,” said Brown.

Originally from Tennessee, Brown is a college graduate with an environmental soil science degree. He is a world traveler who is invigorating learning curricula systems and processes for afterschool programs, field trips, summer school sessions, and spring camps for underserved student and adult populations in Yavapai County while helping to fight poverty through environmental education at Highlands Center that will sustain the natural habitat which is part of the Prescott Nature Center.

Kyle represents the future. He’s able to balance technical knowledge with the interpersonal skills to move forward ideas into action. He is creative and professional. Kyle has been an integral part of the Highlands Center community, especially when it comes to reaching underserved school populations. We are incredibly grateful to be a waystation on the undoubtedly impactful journey Kyle is on,” said Education Director Sarah Vincent of Highlands Center.

Brown is a perfect fit for Arizona’s Highlands Center in Prescott as he loves spending time in the natural environment including hiking on trails, riding his bicycle through technical terrain, running, and climbing rock faces.

“Our natural environment is a way to reduce poverty because being out in nature helps us reduce stress and reducing stress helps us increase clarity about where we are in our lives. Nature is bigger than we are, and we can be inspired! If you are at a point in your life and need new experiences, or a better understanding of the world, I recommend signing up for AmeriCorps VISTA!” added Brown.