Inspiring Youth Leadership with CYC

What’s more rewarding than inspiring others? We thrive when we share our love of the environment with others. Getting youth involved in environmental action is the best way to bring about change. Here’s a first-hand account from our co-op student Jordan Dertinger. He shares his experience working with our Conservation Youth Corps program for high school students.

My name is Jordan and I work with CVC as a co-op student. Come September, I’ll begin the Environmental Technician program at Niagara College. A year ago I had no idea I would be heading in this direction and I have CVC to thank for inspiring me.

I loved video games throughout my high school years and I was set on a career in video game design. With time, this idea grew stale and I questioned my career path. I wanted to try something radically different and I enrolled in an outdoor education program offered at my school called Outbound.

Outbound broadened my perspective about the earth. The program helped me understand why I should pursue a career in the environmental sector. I loved species identification, environmental science and the many field trips we took to beautiful locations. Soon after the program ended, I began networking and trying to find somewhere to spend my upcoming co-op semester. I found CVC. After volunteering with the organization and connecting through its Conservation Youth Corps (CYC) program, I found myself part of a team of enthusiastic, like-minded individuals.

Through my co-op placement with CVC, I learned a lot about the environmental sector. I worked at Rattray Marsh Conservation Area with the aquatic restoration team and at CVC’s tree nursery with the forestry team. I saw how each staff member plays a role in improving our local environment.

I helped CVC with its Branch Out program, which takes high school classes on field trips to plant trees and learn about the environment. I travelled to schools across the watershed, teaching students about environmental stewardship.

It dawned on me how important this line of work is. We are responsible for instilling a sense of appreciation for nature in these kids. It can be difficult, but knowing that I helped inspire passion for the environment is a priceless reward.

All it takes is one hands-on experience to inspire passion for the environment. CVC’s CYC program is a week-long volunteer opportunity for high school students that takes place in the summer. It’s an opportunity to do some great hands-on environmental work and gain valuable experience. The program offers 35 volunteer hours over the week.

This kind of youth experience is hard to come by, and has inspired many students to pursue education and careers in the environmental sector. Whether students need to collect volunteer hours, love to be outside or just want to try something new, CYC is the place to be.

Do you know a student who is looking for a unique volunteer opportunity? Learn more about our CYC program. Registration is currently open.

Comments (1)

  1. It was a pleasure having Jordan work with us this past semester. He has a great sense of humor, is willing to learn new things, and is fit in really well on our small and close knit team. We wish him the best of luck as he begins a new adventure at College this fall!

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