Blog for Young and Emerging Professionals

A group of kids huddle around a person kneeling to hold a plastic water bottle out
Photo credit: Holly Peterson/Westgate Community School

After college, I became disheartened that environmental education was not the career path that I wanted to continue. Every position I saw offered low wages, part-time, or volunteer work. Then I found Westgate Community School (WCS), a K–12 charter school unlike any other. Environmental Education and Service Learning are just two pieces of Westgate’s whole child education that I lead as the Environmental Education Coordinator. I take care of goats, chickens, barn cats, and a snake daily. I teach topics about all things environmental. I am here to talk about my work at Westgate and explain why we must integrate environmental education into our public school systems.

Background of a desert landscape, but in front, on the left, there is a purple transparency box with white text that is included in the body of this post. On the right, in front, are three photos of a cactus, a bobcat, and a building. On the bottom left is an illustration of a roadrunner

Join us for our return to an in-person gathering in beautiful Tucson or participate online with our virtual program. NAAEE’s 2022 conference will focus on the powerful role education can play in creating healthier communities and tackling today’s complex environmental and social issues. Register today!

Three circles signifying awards

Deadline: August 8. Do you know of an individual or organization that has accomplished great things in environmental education? You probably do! This is your chance to recognize the wonderful work of incredibly hardworking individuals and organizations for the benefit of the environment.

image of Jeanine Silversmith with medium length dark curly hair, glasses, smiling, and wearing a light gray sweater, standing in front of leafy green trees

Jeanine Silversmith, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association joined us to discuss the important role advocacy plays in securing the future of environmental education in the state of Rhode Island. Part of that work includes advocating for the successful passage of a climate literacy bill that could help transform environmental education across the state.