Why do I Volunteer? I volunteer because it gives both ways. I get to share knowledge, influence people’s thinking, and bring about the exact kind of change I want to see! I then receive other’s collaboration, teamwork, drive, and even friendships in the process. I volunteer on the Sierra Club Stop Clear Cutting Campaign and the Angeles Chapter’s Communications Committee. Both contribute to my development personally and professionally.
For the Stop Clearcutting CA Campaign, I serve as a social media team lead. I help execute strategy to increase engagement and form potential partnerships supporting our mission of maintaining healthy, vibrant forests throughout California. For my other role, I support the Angeles Chapter’s communications efforts through facilitation between environmental journalists on article topics, as well as gather data insights to improve performance across the team.
In my short time, I have learned more about contributing to the fight for environmental justice through the power of storytelling. This has also been a terrific opportunity for me to grow sought after skills in blogging, analytics, SEO, and social media marketing. These goals benefit us, not just for Angelenos or Californians, but society-at-large.
Caring for the health of our planet is something bigger than ourselves; I reached out to these teams because the experience of being in a group of people who care enough and also want to see something done was compelling to me. During my time in college, I had never imagined there was a study, let alone a career, that tackled our planet’s health, how it affects our everyday society, and how business could be used to build this. The idea itself seemed like a dream come true.
I was first introduced to the environmental world when I took a college course in my freshman year, titled Humans and the Environment. Throughout my time in this course, I found myself always engaged, motivated, and this unending feeling of contribution. The professor himself was a testament to inspiration. A two-time cancer survivor, we would conduct his talks with the help of a voice box, still maintaining a sense of humor and optimism you would not believe. In class, I realized first-hand the horrible practices that led to the state of the world, from animal poaching to ocean trash. It left me emotional well after leaving the classroom. Coming home from the lecture I couldn’t help but shake this moral obligation to do something about this. It then came together for me to become engaged in a career path that has you learning how to change the world for the better.
Over the years, that obligation has fueled my passion in the world of environmentalism, striving to find innovative ways to bring about change. With degrees in social ecology from UC Irvine and global sustainability from UCLA, I was eager to apply my newly acquired knowledge. Utilizing my network and research I found the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter. Around the same time, I was then referred to the Stop Clearcutting Campaign CA, an initiative organized by the California Conservation Committee.
At first the thought of managing workflows on two similar yet different teams seemed daunting. However, the experiences provided by both have been more than rewarding. With the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, our Communications Committee works to bring the latest news and environmental events to our members. We also interface between different working groups in Los Angeles and Orange counties to ensure everyone is in the know of how to become involved. This provides me with the ability to grow my digital media skills across the board, especially on the technical side of things. With Stop Clearcutting, I lead social media efforts and write for the group’s blog. We then shift to legislative efforts as we strive to get bills that support our specific message.
These teams both hold importance for me. I can continually grow as a well-rounded communications professional, while at the same time develop expertise in my chosen topic. What keeps me involved in the fact that both teams are getting change done now, giving me a place to grow my skills and network with others who care about the same cause. The Sierra Club has long been regarded as leading the way on historic bills and movements that protect our water and the very air we breathe. Continuing in that legacy is something I take with great gratitude.
This is why I volunteer. My goals are driven by the determination to share a conversation about how our world affects us, and what we can do to affect it in return. I volunteer because I look forward to inspiring and being inspired. I want to be part of the next generation that gets to inform and motivate others to take action while developing needed skills in today’s workforce and new normal. I feel it’s a moral obligation to help out on something we all take part in- Our planet’s health! Would you like to join us?
[Header Photo: DTLA Solar Panels; John Nilsson All Rights Reserved]