Climate Leaders Inspire Future Professionals at the Inaugural Climate Career Summit

Sabrina Cerquera speaking to interns at the inaugural Climate Career Summit

The speakers were all so inspiring and honestly I am already eager to roll up my sleeves and start working on a project. Today I saw direct evidence of how far you can go—it is possible for every one of us to achieve big things. Thank you for giving me that motivation and courage.”

– Ekaterina Levinton, Career Exploration Intern

At our first ever annual Climate Career Summit, Enterprise youth discovered green career pathways from a panel of climate professionals and activists. The Summit is part of Enterprise for Youth’s new initiative, the Climate Career Corps, a multi-year program that develops the careers of youth who will accelerate climate change solutions. The Summit was a chance for all 400 youth participating in 2022 internships to be introduced to green careers.  

Youth prepared insightful questions for the speakers–some were specific: Are there challenges to implementing solar power in developing countries?; while others were personal: Why is this green work your passion? How do you raise awareness? Other questions indicated concern–What would happen in a food-depleted future? And some wanted to know how to make changes in their own backyards.

The speakers empowered youth with ideas for improving their collective futures–eradicate lawns and parking structures, make renewable energy profitable, find a problem, and solve it! Important career advice was shared–know your values, know your worth, turn your superpowers into fulfilling careers, build community, take advantage of school resources to explore and develop your ideas, and explore careers through internships.

“Jonah’s breakout room was super insightful and inspiring that I’m considering starting my own business. I just love how he just pointed out a problem and went to work. Listening to Jonah also sparked a little bit of optimism… starting a business sounds extremely rewarding and fun.” – Nathan Jann, First Republic Bank Intern

I enjoyed the diversity of crafts that everyone is engaged with and how different everyone’s interest was while still being climate-based.” – Daisa Watkins, Baywell Psychiatry Group Intern

We appreciate each of the speakers and their words of wisdom to the youth: 
  • “Find a need and provide that need. Think outside the box.” – Isaiah Powell, President, Dragonspunk GRO
  • “Explore through internships.” – Sabrina Cerquera, Food Equity Coordinator, Ecotrust
  • “Go for your dreams. Minimize friction. Start with the easier problems.” – Jonah Greenberger, CEO, Bright
  • “Take a chance. Use your status as a student to your advantage and find the resources.” – Jannice Newson, Founder, Lillian Augusta
  • Fake it until you make it, but also come prepared – do your research. Find entry points that matter to your community.” – Alexia Leclercq, Co-Founder, Start: Empowerment 
  • Innovate methods to fight climate change. There are lots of us with the same passion. Understand what you love and fight for that.” – Artesimo Romero y Carver, Co-Founder of Youth United for Climate Crisis (YUCCA)
  • Talk to everyone. Get out into your community and listen.” – Miguel Dimas, EcoCenter Manager, SF Rec & Park 

Read the speaker bios here.

I appreciate the wise words of advice each speaker provided, such as Sabrina’s advice that you should want to learn more about your work and be willing to work into the night for it. I also enjoyed witnessing the enthusiasm that all of the speakers shared, such as Isaiah who spoke so deeply about making an impact no matter what unique career path you take.

– Joyce Ma, Climate Career Crops Intern with San Francisco Rec & Parks
Jannice Newson answering questions about her sustainable beauty business in a breakout room at the Climate Career Summit

It’s very inspiring to see youth having internships at such a young age. You are already starting your pathway.” 

– Sabrina Cerquera, Food Equity Coordinator at Ecotrust, and one of the seven keynote speakers

Thank you to our event sponsor, Kaiser Permanente.