The EcoFellow Experience: Jorge Guarin
Hola! My name is Jorge Guarin, and I am an EcoFellow at the Center for EcoTechnology. Most of my time at CET has been focused on community outreach and education; however, I have had the chance to be involved in a variety of projects. I graduated from The State University of New York, College of Environmental Science (SUNY-ESF) and Forestry in May 2017. I majored in Sustainable Energy Management and during my time at SUNY-ESF I acquired some experience in materials management; hence, CET was a perfect fit to put my education into action.
How I Spend My Time
One of the nicest things of my time at CET is that I do not have a daily routine: every day and every week is different than the previous. For the most part my work involves community outreach, such as presentations, tabling, and establishing new educational opportunities in the community. Willow, my fellow outreach EcoFellow, and I visit schools, businesses, and community organizations and share with them the wealth of information and resources CET has to offer about energy efficiency and waste reduction. This is what I consider the most impactful aspect of my work at CET: giving the community the tools and knowledge they need to improve their lives and invest in our future. Establishing new educational opportunities is another time intensive area. We work with existing and new partners on ways to effectively communicate the information about how CET can help. The remaining work hours are distributed among a multitude of different projects, including grant writing, project development, professional development, and business opportunity research.
My Favorite Project
My favorite project so far is the development of an educational series for businesses with a new partner. This series will bring several members of the community together for a learning experience and will facilitate the creation of new partnerships. The educational series will consist of four sessions focused on innovative sustainable business practices and will be offered to businesses in the Berkshires region. Community development is one of my biggest interests and projects like this are incredible opportunities to gain experience I will need for my career.
Attending conferences, seminars, and other kinds of professional development is an essential component of the EcoFellowship experience. By visiting other organizations the boundaries of knowledge are expanded. During my time at CET I have been able to visit a composting farm, a recyclables sorting facility, and several Living Building Challenge facilities. These professional development experiences are directly connected to the work done by the EcoFellows, but give also us other perspective that we can then incorporate into our work and experience.
February marks the midpoint of the EcoFellowship experience, and I cannot wait to find out what else I am going to learn and do in the second half!
Applications for EcoFellowship class of 2018-2019 are open now! Apply today!