This week is a bittersweet one for the ECOSS family, as this is the last week for a dear colleague and friend, Joycelyn Chui, who is leaving to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Health, with a focus on Environmental and Occupational Health at University of Washington this fall.
After joining in 2017 as a coordinator to work on Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects, recycling and composting outreach and more, Joycelyn quickly showed her passion and organizational skill for community engagement. In less than a year, she became a Multicultural Outreach Manager, leading projects with a focus on Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking communities and businesses.
In her three years at ECOSS, Joycelyn has not only advanced ECOSS’ mission of sustainability for all, but also served as an inspiring role model for everyone at ECOSS with her charismatic, inclusive and candid leadership.
Before she departs, we had a chance to catch up with Joycelyn for some reflections on her time with ECOSS:
What was your favorite part about working at ECOSS? What will you miss the most?
- My coworkers! At ECOSS, people are open minded, independent and we have a lot of trust among folks. I’ll miss the privilege and availability to try new things and projects. Lastly, I love and definitely will miss the flexible working schedule.
How have your views on the environment evolved while working at ECOSS?
- Unfortunately, my time at UW as a Fishery Sciences undergrad didn’t teach me anything about environmental injustice. Since I started working at ECOSS, I see firsthand how language barriers, technological divides, varied economic status, immigration status, etc. affect the communities we serve.
- The topic of environmental protection can’t be silo-ed. There’s no way to do environmental protection, undo climate change or implement any environmental programs without addressing racial equity and social justice.
What are your biggest takeaways from your time at ECOSS?
- The more you put in, the more you get out of it.
- ECOSS is a lifestyle, beyond a job.
- Skills learned: project management, environmental education, understanding how a nonprofit organization works.
- There is so much more work to do about environmental equity!!!
- Climbed up Formosan church’s roof to look at the roof structure, it was three floors high.
- Water Festival. I was honestly surprised that ECOSS staff members gave me so much trust to run a festival.
- Within the first month of working at ECOSS, I brought back six mooncakes. It’s meant to be shared among 4-8 people. Next day, I came to the office with one went missing. Turned out, Ruben ate a whole mooncake alone!!!
- A RainWise contractor gave me two pounds of squid as token of appreciation
- Doing outreach while having dim sum.
- Did a simple photo shoot with Seattle Public Utilities. Next thing I knew, my face appeared in a lot of their collateral materials. Like their calendar, residential newsletter, website, even on The Stranger!
- During the last week of my job, I had to help the RainWise team with running the contractor orientation. Charles’s ran into technical difficulties and ALL his PowerPoint slides lost audio tracks 15 minutes before the online orientation. We had to immediately pivot into narrating the slides! It worked great though 🙂
Where do you think the organization is headed? Or what do you hope to see in five years?
- Be one of the leaders of environmental equity in Seattle.
- Continue to be the cradle of environmental equity leaders.
Anything else you want to say?
- The ECOSS experience is one of best things that has happened to me. I’m sad yet excited to leave to embark my next chapter of life. Thank you ECOSS!!!
- We shall meet again someday! 後會有期!
Thank you Joycelyn for being part of the ECOSS family! We wish you well in your next adventures and look forward to seeing your future successes!