Overseeing a Conservation Service Corps as a Latinx leader is incredibly powerful and reminds me every day of how fulfilling it is to not only reach my instinctual, divine connection to earth and protection of its resources but the instinctual desire to do service and be of service to others in my community. To witness our young people of color experiencing the same fulfillment of service and connection to land, connection to the solutions presented, and being ready to serve unconditionally will always fill us with pride. Our GCF leaders have the deepest desire to contribute and solve the challenges that exist on earth, we say they are the energy source of our work.
As GCF, we represent a diverse family of conservation leaders on the ground. We think of innovative ways to build alignment with our extended communities, as we know it takes a critical mass of allies to see the dent that’s needed for significant environmental impacts and shifts. The Corps core mission is this: building partnerships with residents of NYCHA to extend the education about conservation and sustainability they receive in the Corps so we can reach behavior change goals. Whether that be energy, waste, water, grease, plastics, etc. our corps is on it. Our Corps Members put themselves on the line to meet people, reach people, educate people at tremendous efforts to shift the paradigms of behaviors.
Since the quarantine orders in place this spring, our work has not stopped despite the several hurdles in place. Our dedicated staff cultivated and planted the land. Our eagerness and need to keep moving and pushing for the residents in the areas we serve was at the forefront of our hearts and minds. Meeting the needs of local food in a time of such uncertainty was a true test of our work. And I have been incredibly proud of the dedicated staff on the ground that I witness first hand, by any means necessary contributing to the local food needs and distribution push across the City. It’s been gratifying to witness the overwhelming support given by volunteers, all of June we have had GCF alumni representation at each of our service sites, doing service.
In Service and Solidarity,
Jennifer Tirado, Chief Service Officer