Climate Career Corps blossoms this summer

Enterprise is creating a future workforce capable of accelerating solutions to climate change. Our vision is to have Enterprise youth enter their professions with the skills and climate-minded framework needed to meet the growing demand of the workforce and the planet.

For over 45 years we’ve collaborated with San Francisco Recreation and Parks to give youth the opportunity to make valuable contributions to the stewardship of their environment. In recent years, the Climate Career Corps has blossomed (no pun intended) into a multi-year experience with numerous green training opportunities and more green internship placements than ever.

A few examples of internship sites include the National Park Service, Nature in the City, Greenbelt Alliance, SF Environment Dept, and green businesses like INTERSTICE Architects and Pattern Energy. As the need for climate change solutions becomes more urgent, our portfolio of partners only continues to grow. 

Our enterprising young people are getting involved in all kinds of ways and being paid to do so. They’re working to promote ecological health, strengthen the biodiversity of urban green spaces, promote zero waste, and amplify climate action. And as they work, they’re developing skills in ecology, natural resource management, clean energy, environmental justice, and climate change. The work itself takes many forms: project-based learning, job shadows, and a career summit with climate leaders. 

One of my favorite aspects of our programs is the collaboration youth enjoy, which we know is an essential component of professional development and mental health. In a day and age defined by technology and isolation, Enterprise’s side-by-side learning, in-person mentorship, and personal connections are more valuable than ever.

Our young people speak to the long-term impact of these programs better than anyone. Enterprise intern DeLara Armijo says:

“I have learned how to be a better leader, activist, and environmentalist with this job [at Buena Vista Park]. So much so, that I want to pursue a career to continue taking care of the Earth. With my next job I will take my go to attitude and put it to work so I may succeed at my goals in life.

This job was exciting, and I enjoyed talking to people and the plants! I have worked alongside rangers and managers of the San Francisco Parks to remove invasive plants, trees and shrubs that endanger our fragile ecosystem. I’ve learned to identify various native trees such as the California Buckeye, Coast Live Oak, the Monterey Cypress and Pine.” -DeLara Armijo

DeLara is heading to UC Davis this fall and I know she will be a vibrant part of her community. I admire DeLara and all the youth in our program – the courage Enterprise young people demonstrate by taking action is reassuring and inspiring.

We had over 300 youth working in green jobs this summer in part due to our team’s courageous and generous moment in 2020. In the midst of COVID, before we had vaccines, our team secured buckets of hand sanitizer, thousands of gloves and masks, and headed out with young people to work.

Please join us in supporting youth, our team, and our founder’s vision by making a gift to help ensure a bright (and green) future.

By Nínive Calegari, Chief Executive Officer