The 2018 Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP) is off to a great start. This six-week paid internship introduces young people of color to environmental projects and careers, while helping them develop essential job skills.
YELP includes trips to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to enjoying mountain vistas, interns participate in field work such as collaring elk calves and using radio telemetry to track them, trail work and vegetation studies. Interns also take to the water, studying stream hydrology, riparian restoration techniques, macroinvertebrate ecology and learning to paddle.
Education Director Joéle Emma supervises the YELP interns with support from college interns Nallah Muhammad and Tamia Dame. Nallah is a student at NC A&T University and a 2018 participant in the Z. Smith Reynolds Nonprofit Internship Program. Tamia is a second year intern with the Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s Diversity in Conservation Internship Program and will be completing her undergraduate degree at UNC Asheville in the fall. Tamia is also a contributing writer for the Mountain Xpress. Check out her latest article on the intersection of race and the environment here.
Daniel Suber, who was part of YELP in 2014-15 as a Mentor, returned to GreenWorks in May 2018. GreenWorks is serving as Daniel’s non-profit partner for his McCullough Fellowship with UNC Asheville. For the next eight months, Daniel will focus his project on working with youth groups in Asheville that serve a majority of students of color and connecting them with organizations and businesses in the environmental field and beyond. The purpose of this is to serve and uplift the students in the youth groups by helping them gain access to pertinent information, internships, professional development, beneficial resources, and opportunities for networking.
GreenWorks has an exciting, productive summer ahead of us thanks to all of the skills and enthusiasm the interns bring to their work.
Several individuals are completing unpaid internships as volunteers with our Rivers & Roads program area this summer. These interns play a huge role in making sure our volunteer projects run smoothly; they are the first to arrive and the last to leave each day. Especially while working on the river, it is great to have an extra set of eyes and hands to make sure everyone stays safe and productive. They help to manage our Trash Trout and Trash Boom projects, assist around the office, and table with staff members at events and festivals around town. Many of them are, were, or intend to be environmental majors in college, so we hope that they are gaining experience in the field, particularly in a non-profit setting. We are so grateful for their hard work and commitment to GreenWorks– we could not do it without them!