Currently I am a community outreach intern at the Glen Helen Nature Preserve. My employer’s mission is to bring exposure of the wonders and importance of nature to those in the community. My role involves creating avenues for community members to participate within the Glen and its facilities such as the Raptor Center and the Outdoor Education Center. I am also taking on an independent project that makes scientific research publicly available. This internship fits my educational goals because as a junior and environmental science major I am given a different perspective on how to communicate scientific and nature related activities to the community.
My name is Lanique Dawson, I’m a third-year student and I’m on my second co-op as an educator at the Paraclete Center and environmental policy intern at Save the Harbor/Save the Bay in Boston this Fall quarter. I chose to front-load my academics in order to broaden my foundation as a member of both nonprofits. With a major in environmental science, education and environmental policy are two professional paths I aspire to pursue.
At the Paraclete center, their mission is, “… an out-of-school educational enrichment program, offering Boston students in the 4th through 8th grade the academic support, homework and tutoring assistance, enrichment classes, and education-based field trips … ” (1)
Within the Paraclete Center my title is an
educator with a focus on environmental science, which is demonstrated in my environmental science enrichment course. Interactive, hands-on lessons and activities are incorporated into my class. Over the course of the quarter, I have dived into lessons surrounding environmental challenges such as diversity of habitat structure, the acceleration of climate change, and the tragedies of deforestation. Every class has been unique in
teaching style, ranging from visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic, so that every student may be included. For instance, students mimicked vegetative solar tracking videos as they “danced as Sunflowers.” Other classes were more visual, as students constructed their own micro-environments, blue ice cubes (Ice caps) were melted over the “200 year period” where heat escalated the fastest in human history (climate change).
As a member of the community in South Boston, Paraclete looks to engage their students “to improve academic performance, [and] increase academic engagement and motivation…” (1) Paraclete executes their mission successfully within the community with the assistance of enrichment courses ranging from life skills and ethics to environmental awareness and stewardship preparation. Their community engagement is demonstrated with the growth of students as young adults as generations enter and leaves Paraclete.
At the Save the Harbor/Save the Bay (STH/STB) their mission is, “ to restore and protect Boston Harbor, Massachusetts Bay, and the marine environment and share them with the public for all to enjoy.” (2) My title at STH/STB is an environmental policy intern. As an environmental policy intern, every day is a new experience due to the potential participation of groundbreaking projects that benefits the organization and those who they help. My long-term project is the revision of the Environmental Education Curriculum crafted by the members at STH/STB. I chose this project due to my role as an educator, with the goal in mind to become exposed to new ways of teaching as well as to provide insight of being an educator to the curriculum, in response. Overall, projects varied from administrative assignments to community engagement. For instance, the STH/STB staff collaborated with KaBOOM and jetBlue on the creation of a playground, within a day, that would benefit community members at South Boston Curley Community Center.
(1)“Educational Enrichment for Youth.” Paraclete, www.paraclete.org/.
(2)Save the Harbor/ Save the Bay . “ About Me .” Save the Harbor, Save the Harbor Save the Bay , www.savetheharbor.org/about/.
Currently, I am employed at two locations, Housing Works Catering, and Bourbon Springs. At Housing Works Catering, they cater with a purpose: to help raise money and awareness for people who have HIV and AIDs. With strong ties between both Head Chefs of the Housing Works Catering and Bourbon Springs, Bourbon Springs is a donator to their cause.
While working for both businesses, I have worn many hats. A definite role that I have played was Environmental Researcher for the Works, and an Office Manager for Bourbon Springs. At the Works, I have found clean and environmentally friendly methods to depose their mass usage of food. While at Bourbon Springs, I have organized and redesigned functions of the restaurant to create an easier flow. This co-op opportunity has given me a great perspective of location. Metropolitan areas as well as fast-paced scenes are where I excel in, and in the future I hope to also endure. In most kitchens being able to read closely is a major skill to acquire, if that is not a current skill. This skill may seem obvious at first, but at times if one doesn’t actively read than simple task – looking recipes, using the correct measuring cup- will be harder to complete. I intend to use this skill when I dive into reading advanced scientific literature.
With the help that the Works is doing for the community, I am happy to be a helping hand with their mission. I wish to take this learning experience into the next community I find myself in.