The Best Internship on Earth!

This is likely one of many hundred videos, hopefully thousands. But it’s the first to come across my desk and it prompted me to write in support of one young man who hopes to represent his generation on behalf of the environment. Christian Alvarado is among the teens and young adults across America vying for the Sierra Club’s Best Internship on Earth.

With many of our youth today dedicating so much of their time to video screens, it’s heartening to see a broad cross-section who aim to make a difference in the world by working to protect it. Having ascended to rank among the top 10 applicants last year Christian is back in the running again with even more experience under his belt. Over the past year working through the Inner City Outings program in Hartford, Connecticut he participated in several landmark outreach events. He attended the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit in New York City, the Natural Leaders Network in Princeton and the Good Jobs Green Jobs national conference in Washington D.C. Now the 20-year-old college student hopes to continue his leadership role as a national Outdoor Youth Ambassador.

“I want to be a leader because I want to show students things they’ve never seen before,” Christian said. “Things that are made possible because of the Sierra Club.”

The internship program will give a worthy candidate like Christian the opportunity to travel the country and participate in several Sierra Club outings. While backpacking, rafting and climbing across America the Outdoor Youth Ambassador will be tasked with writing about his or her experience in a regular blog that will also feature video. Anyone over the age of 18 in high school, college or recently graduated is encouraged to apply. No outdoor experience is necessary.

Progressive programs such as this are exactly what the outdoor conservation movement needs to stay viable into the future. By encouraging and empowering young people to become directly involved in programs that will allow them to engage the natural world with excitement and enthusiasm the Sierra Club is assuring the preservation of wild and scenic places for generations to come. -JEM

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I’m a freelance journalist that specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living.