Congrats! Youth Staff Alum Moving On to Clean Energy Corps

As a member of the High Line Youth Staff, Carla Hernández has worked with Friends of the High Line in so many capacities over the last year, from helping with our community surveying, to working alongside our gardeners during an alternative spring break program. Photo by Liz Ligon
 

High Line Youth Staff alumna Carla Hernández is moving on from Friends of the High Line to join the Clean Energy Corps, Green City Force’s full-time, six month-long service, with training and academics, and work experience in the clean energy economy.

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This is an exciting next step for Carla. Her service with Green City Force over the coming months will focus on energy efficiency and health and safety, providing valuable hands-on training for her through projects that help create a more sustainable New York City.

Learn more about Carla after the jump.

Our teen programs are geared toward providing a springboard for future job training and employment.

Last year, we embarked on a community engagement initiative to deepen connections with residents living in the Elliot-Chelsea and Fulton Houses, the two NYCHA housing complexes closest to the High Line. To find out more about how the High Line could better serve the park’s closest neighbors, we hired a group of local teens to help us survey residents living in the two complexes. Carla was one of six local teens recruited to work with High Line staff to knock on doors, ask questions, and listen during more than 800 interviews with local residents and their families.

Then in March, Carla returned to take part in the first-ever High Line Green Corps, our alternative spring break program for local high school students. The Green Corps had grown out of feedback from our community surveying, with parents looking for opportunities for their teens to get paid work experience in the park, and it was exciting to see several of our teens from surveying return in this new capacity. More than 60 teens applied for just 10 spots in this program, in which participants spent a week working with High Line Gardeners and attending career workshops, including one from Green City Force.

About her experience during Green Corps, Carla says, “I learned a lot about how to treat plants, and the work behind keeping a healthy environment. [I enjoyed] learning my own connection to the earth and what I can do in a garden, especially how to help maintain the beautiful gardens in the park.”

Carla recently went on to be a member of the High Line Teen Film Committee, a group of teens who have worked since May to curate, produce, and promote High Line Teen Picks, a series of free summer movie screenings on the High Line. At every step of the way, Carla has impressed us with her responsibility, openness to new projects, and work ethic.

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Carla’s interest in Green City Force was sparked during the organization’s presentation during our Green Corps’ alternative spring break. She applied to the program shortly thereafter. This past month we were thrilled to learn that she had been accepted into the competitive program, in which she’ll be spending the next six months working closely with 40 other Clean Energy Corps Members and Green City Force staff. With a mixture of service, academics, and training, Green City Force’s program will provide a unique opportunity to learn more about green jobs, service, sustainability, and justice, while increasing eco-literacy and getting hands-on training in the field.

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“Carla has been a wonderful addition to our current cohort and we’re very lucky to have her,” says Irene HongPing Shen, Support Services Manager at Green City Force. “Through service activities, classroom academics and speaker presentations Carla has represented herself as a serious and professional Corps Member with Green City Force. She has demonstrated interest and commitment to environmental sustainability and civic participation through her engagement in the program and we’re excited to see her growth. ”

Says Kenta Darley-Usmar, Team Leader Coordinator, Green City Force: “Carla is an exceptional young woman whose positive attitude and work ethic have been a great asset to the team!”

Congratulations, Carla! Keep up the great work, and we look forward to seeing you again at the High Line very soon!

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