Last week I had the privilege of joining a “green jobs” panel at Seattle’s International District Housing Alliance (IDHA). The panel was convened as part of the IDHA’s Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development (WILD) program, which connects high school aged youth to important community and environmental issues. These kids often act as translators and disseminators of information for the elder members of their communities.
I brought Jordon along to serve as an ECOSS witness of the event. Christina Twu, IDHA’s WILD coordinator, facilitated the event and welcomed us to the group. When it was my turn to speak, I talked about ECOSS’ role as a mediator between businesses, governments and communities, and how we work with local businesses to help them with their “green” efforts.
The kids were sharp and had a number of prepared questions for the panel members. It was interesting to learn that the idea of “green jobs” was a fairly ambiguous concept for them. I agreed with their sentiment and noted that terms like “green” and “sustainability” often mean different things to different people, but that the important thing is to figure out what you’re excited about first. Once you do that, you can always incorporate sustainability into your work in meaningful ways.
After the Q and A session with the panel, there was a mock job interview session. Jordon and I each interviewed a WILD participant and tried to prepare them for real interviews by helping them know what to expect, how to prepare, which questions to count on, etc. My interviewee, a kid named Raphael, was great. His qualifications always went back to his interpersonal skills. It was fantastic.
I had a great time as a panel member and am excited to see how these young leaders impact our community in the future.