2023/2024 EV Intern Blog

Amy

One of my favorite memories from this internship was the teach-backs we did during training. We had the chance to act like elementary school students, goofing around and acting silly.  I had a lot of fun, and it is my fondest memory from the program. The internship really inspired me to pursue environmental education as a career. I have always believed that education is the best way to address current climate issues and preserve our environment. As part of this internship program, I saw how education positively changed the next generation’s understanding of environmental stewardship. Seeing the students’ interest in the subject helped cement my interest in environmental education.

Since becoming an intern, I have spent more time in nature. I found nature to be healing. I began visiting Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge as a way to destress. Seeing the wildlife and the water made me realize how small I am compared to the vastness of the world and how little my troubles are. This internship made me more hopeful for the future. Seeing environmental education’s impact on children’s perspectives made me more confident in our collective ability to combat climate change.

Catherine

The first major project I was given was to create the PAHLPP (City of Palo Alto Horizontal Levee Project) Program report for 2023. It was daunting as it was to be sent to the City of Palo Alto once finalized. It gave me plenty of experience with Canva and developing professional, scientific reports designed for informational outreach. I am proud of my role in developing this, as it has and will continue to serve the city. I also gained plenty of experience in Excel by developing a Ticket Market Platforms Review for 2024, giving me work in research and Excel. 

Through this internship, I have solidified my desire to work in environmental outreach or sustainability. Developing projects and witnessing community and school involvement has been inspiring work. I also think that experiencing what it is like to work for a non-profit has been very gratifying, and I would love to go into that field and consult at some point in the future. 

This internship taught me the importance of exposing children to environmental and sustainability education as soon as possible. Normalizing these interests and practices for children is crucial to establishing a better future. I am very grateful that this internship taught me this and enabled me to participate. This experience has definitely made me think about climate anxiety. Still, it is hopeful to witness and be a part of an organization that is addressing this.

Mia

A great memory from my time interning with Environmental Volunteers is working at the Spring Bioblitz. This event was so much fun to attend and participate in. We got to walk around the Palo Alto Baylands and photograph all the cool plants and creatures that inhabit the area. It was also so rewarding to see the pamphlets I worked on being used by everyone at the event. I loved seeing my hard work come to life and be used at community events. 

After completing this internship, I definitely see myself working with kids in some capacity in the future. It is so fulfilling to see kids and work with them and see their passion for these activities. I plan to teach English as a second language abroad, and this internship has taught me patience and how to work with kids more effectively. This experience has allowed me to learn more about my strengths and weaknesses in teaching and has helped me grow tremendously. 

Since being an intern, I have learned more about sustainability and environmental concepts by teaching them to others. This has made me more conscious of the issues at hand and more aware of how certain animals and plants thrive within the area. Coming from the East Coast, I was unaware of many ecosystems like the Baylands or the Foothills, so this experience has made me much more knowledgeable about where I now live. 

This internship has helped ease my climate anxiety by showing me that the next generation cares about the environment and gets excited to learn about it. It has shown me that there are still people who care about the environment and the future and are willing to work towards that. The kids I have interacted with have seemed genuinely excited about working towards a better future for themselves and have a joy and passion for the outdoors. It has been heartwarming and healing to see.

Mitchelle

My favorite project from the internship was creating the intern videos. I enjoyed having creative control of the content and collaborating with the other interns to create something that would influence others to join Environmental Volunteers. This internship has definitely helped me learn that I enjoy being a part of education. Seeing how excited children were to learn about topics that interest me and their enthusiasm to learn was rewarding. It grew my respect for teachers and showed me that I enjoy being in the background of education.

Since becoming an intern, I have learned more about sustainability and the environment through our school programs. It has also helped me become more conscious of my carbon footprint and implement sustainable practices into my everyday life. The internship has helped calm my climate anxiety by allowing me to help educate the next generation. Seeing how many children have some knowledge about the environment and are eager to learn more about it shows me that there is hope for the future, as we are helping raise people who will care about the environment.

Zoe

While leading a nature walk with a 4-year-old and her parents (pictured above), I encouraged her to look for tracks as evidence of animals in the Baylands. We observed some webbed tracks and dog paw prints and concluded that those animals must have been there at some point. Later on, during the nature walk, she noticed some odd-looking tracks. I asked her what she thought they were, and she exclaimed, “A snake!” Her parents and I started laughing, and I said, “Ooh, maybe, but those also look a bit like bike tire tracks to me.” 

Although I have one more year of undergrad, I plan on continuing my education in the environmental field and getting a master’s degree. This summer, leading into my senior year, I will teach at a summer camp in a garden and work for Barron Creek, which grows fresh produce to donate to local food banks. 

Since becoming an intern, I have realized the importance of environmental education. Part of that includes my personal learning in nature, so I have begun to spend more time in nature. Having this opportunity to work with the next generation of climate stewards has eased my climate anxiety. Often, in the classroom, I am amazed by students’ ideas, and that gives me hope for our collective future.