Growing young leaders and trees

by Tree Musketeers
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Check Out Our 2016 Summer LEAD Course Graduates!
Check Out Our 2016 Summer LEAD Course Graduates!

What’s New with Young Leaders and Trees?

It has been a very busy summer indeed for youth leaders and trees here in El Segundo.

Changing of the Guard

On July 25th we held our Annual Board Retreat where our youngest Youth Manager Lucas, age 10, all the way up to our graduating seniors, all sat along-side our adult board members to discuss the matters of the organization. Everything was on the table, from fundraising to outreach, and all of our Youth Managers contributed a fresh and different perspective as only they can.

“It was really interesting to see how the business works behind the scenes.”
~Lucas, 10

Toward the end of our board retreat we elected our new President, Fernando, age 16, and gave a fond farewell to our graduating Youth Managers, Raquel, Lina and Talia. All three of these young ladies have been with us for many years and we will miss their leadership and commitment to the environment. They have all started as freshman at three very prestigious colleges and universities on the east coast.

Summer LEAD Courses

Our 2016 courses had an extremely successful turnout. Each course was overbooked with many students completing all four classes, making them eligible to apply to join the Youth Management Team!

Graduates learned Personal Skills, People Skills and Organizational Management in the Youth Management Series taught by our Executive Director Gail Church. These classes help students in all aspects of life from improving their personal relationships with friends and family to projecting leadership with body language and attire in any situation. After that we had a bright group of members join us for the Public Speaking Course. Students learned how to think on their feet…literally...answering questions, not just about themselves but about their community and the world at large, all at the drop of a hat. Public Speaking was taught by our long-time Adult Partner and Advisory Director, Catherine Magruder, a veteran toastmaster and South Bay resident.

It all culminated on August 15th, at our Summer LEAD Graduation where we celebrated each student’s achievement with staff, family, friends and Youth Management Alumni at the El Segundo City Council Chambers.

Our new President was the event’s Toastmaster and short speeches were given by previous LEAD Graduates including Youth Management Team Alum and Advisory Directors Blake Parker, Julian Poyourow and Adam Gerard.

Our New Class

After graduation we received applications from many of our LEAD Graduates to join the Youth Management Team and we happily accepted six new members! With such a large incoming class we are excited to get them trained and out leading the environmental movement in our community.

Over the coming months our new arrivals will be co-managing events with our senior Youth Managers and they will also be leading the way in planning and executing our 4th Annual Made a Difference Day volunteer event coming up in late October.

New Adult Partners

Lastly, we trained a new class of Adult Partners, including Susan, Gregory and Louise. Although our APT course is not for our youth, training our Adult Partner Team members is an integral part of what keeps our Youth Managers active in the community on a consistent basis.

What is next for Young Leaders and Trees?

Soon planting season will be upon us and with that comes a whole host of planting events, from Memory Tree ceremonies to Arbor Day, and we can’t wait to dive in!

You can’t wait either? Glad to hear it! Hop on over to our Volunteer Calendar and see where you can lend hand: https://treemusketeers.org/tree-musketeers-volunteer-calendar/

As always, thank you for your continued support!

LEAD Speech Contest Grads pose with their awards
LEAD Speech Contest Grads pose with their awards
Our New 2016/2017 Class of Youth Managers
Our New 2016/2017 Class of Youth Managers
Speech Student Victor Prepares to Address Class
Speech Student Victor Prepares to Address Class
Alyssa Presents During Organizational Management
Alyssa Presents During Organizational Management

Links:

President Talia Gerard accepts Arbor Day Award
President Talia Gerard accepts Arbor Day Award

On April 30th, the Arbor Day Foundation held their Annual Arbor Day Awards ceremony in Nebraska City, Nebraska where Tree Musketeers was presented with the Excellence in Volunteer Management Award! Tree Musketeers President Talia Gerard and Outreach Manager Marjorie Alexander were in attendance.

This is not the first time that the Arbor Day Foundation has reconized Tree Musketeers for work in urban forestry. We received the Arbor Day Celebration Award in 1989, our first award from the organization. In 2006 Tree Musketeers received the Media Award for the book Marcie the Marvelous Tree, An Autobiography, written by the first tree ever planted by Tree Musketeers Founders back in 1987 in what is now known as Memory Row along West Imperial Avenue.

This year’s award is the third time that the Arbor Day Foundation has given accolades to Tree Musketeers for excellence in tree planting, care and related activities. The Tree Musketeers founders are even featured on the "Wall of Those Who Made a Difference," an interactive multimedia exhibit at Arbor Day Farm's Tree Adventure.

A Big THANK YOU goes out to the Arbor Day Foundation for their acknowledgment and hospitality!

~~~

In other news, Fernando Aguilar, Tree Musketeers Youth Manager has been accepted into the Alcoa Scholars Program! Fernando first heard about Tree Musketeers through our Summer LEAD Courses (Leadership Education and Action Development) where we teach Personal Skills, People Skills, Organizational Management, Public Speaking and Youth Planting Supervisor Training. During the LEAD Graduation Ceremony he gave a speech on the loss of gorilla habitat and reflects on the experience often.

“Tree Musketeers’ LEAD courses gave me the confidence to speak to people about anything, whether it be politics or business. To give a speech in front of City Council is a feeling that will really stick with you.”

Once he completed the LEAD courses, he was invited to join Tree Musketeers’ Youth Management Team in Fall of 2014 and is now in charge of running the day-to-day activities of the organization along with five other Youth Managers.

“Being a Youth Manager has given me a chance to lead people, big, small and of all ages.”

In July Fernando will be attending the Alcoa Scholar summer program in Olympia, Washington, where he will take part in nature education and outdoor experimental learning.

Good Luck Fernando!

If you or a young person you know is interested in building both their resume and life skills, check out our LEAD courses here

Talia speaks w/ Arbor Day staff at award reception
Talia speaks w/ Arbor Day staff at award reception
TM Founders on Wall of Those Who Made Difference
TM Founders on Wall of Those Who Made Difference
Youth Manager Fernando now Alcoa Scholar
Youth Manager Fernando now Alcoa Scholar

Links:

Youth Managers recognized by CA Assembly Member!
Youth Managers recognized by CA Assembly Member!

The unique attribute about Tree Musketeers is that our Youth Managers sit on boards and task forces alongside successful business owners and veteran community leaders. Arbor Day, as you can imagine, is one of the largest events of the year for an organization that revolves around tree planting & care and beautifying the community.

This year Tree Musketeers hosted El Segundo's 29th Annual Arbor Day Celebration. As the world's first environmental organization that is youth-led and with a long history of success both here in our local community and through partnerships all across the globe we always set the bar very high for ourselves. This year the Youth Leaders sitting on our Arbor Day Task Force did not disappoint! Tree Musketeers President, Talia Gerard took charge of Project Management with Executive Director Gail Church while Youth Managers Utsa Parikh and Fernando Aguilar sat on the Program Committee with long-time Adult Partner and Public Speaking Instructor Catherine Magruder.

The event went off without a hitch! Over 440 volunteers descended upon the corner of Loma Vista and Imperial Avenue in El Segundo, directed by Youth Managers from ages 10 to 17 who took to the microphone giving direction from the podium. After volunteers were checked in they received team assignments. Each team was led by a Youth Planting Supervisor, many of whom are new to the TM family, having completed their training in January and February, and those YPS were supported by trained Adult Partners.

As result of your generous donations our Youth Leaders were fully equipped to lead one of the South Bay's largest annual volunteer events. Want to see some of the great work our awesome volunteers, both Tall and Small, were able to accomplish with the leadership of youth? Hop on over to our website and take a look!

Youth Manager Raquel goes over plan with TM staff
Youth Manager Raquel goes over plan with TM staff
Youth Planting Supervisor with her Adult Partner
Youth Planting Supervisor with her Adult Partner
Youth Manager Utsa Parikh goes over speech notes
Youth Manager Utsa Parikh goes over speech notes
Volunteers plant, mulch and water new trees
Volunteers plant, mulch and water new trees
The first look at some of the 70 new trees planted
The first look at some of the 70 new trees planted

Links:

Pres Talia Gerard addresses Chevron Team @ MADD!
Pres Talia Gerard addresses Chevron Team @ MADD!

What a fantastic end of the year it has been. Earlier this year we added three new Youth Managers to our team and they have been a wonderful addition to the Tree Musketeers family. Each of them has been featured as a Volunteer of the Month at least once since they joined us. We also added four new members to our Youth Planting Supervisor team! Margot, David, Ashley & Natalie all took part in our training last month.

The entire Youth Management Team also helped plan three events this fall - our 3rd Annual Make a Difference Day, our first Memory Tree Planting of the 2015/2016 planting season and our yearly holiday party, held just last week! You can check out some of the results, images and a live feed replay from our Make a Difference Day by clicking here. As you know, Tree Musketeers is the place where kids are boss and we are so happy to be led by a great group of youth leaders that care about their environment!

But that's not the only exciting news we have to share...

We are quickly approaching the 1 million trees mark in our 3x3 Campaign! The Tree Musketeers 3x3 Campaign is one that inspires and empowers 3 million youth around the world to plant 3 million trees. With recent plantings in Alaska and Kenya we are up to 990,683 trees! 

With partners in Zimbabwe distributing over 30,000 seeds to young school children at a recent environmental learning event we expect to be well over 1 million by spring.

Thank you so much for your continued support and don't forget to empower youth that you know to take part in environmental leadership in their community.

Fernando plays Taboo with fellow Youth Managers
Fernando plays Taboo with fellow Youth Managers
New Planting Sups, Margot, David, Ashley & Natalie
New Planting Sups, Margot, David, Ashley & Natalie
Seedling being planted by Youth Leader in Kenya!
Seedling being planted by Youth Leader in Kenya!
Youth in Zimbabwe doing environmental theatre
Youth in Zimbabwe doing environmental theatre

Links:

2015 Lead Graduates Celebrate After Speech Contest
2015 Lead Graduates Celebrate After Speech Contest

It has been an amazing summer! Our 2014/2015 president Samantha Cano has left Tree Musketeers in the very capable hands of our new president Talia Gerard.

You may be familiar with the last name as her brother Adam Gerard was president during 2013/2014 and went to South Korea to speak at a youth empowerment conference in 2012. Talia has been on the YMT for eight years, has given spoken and given presentations at many events hosted by Tree Musketeers and other groups and currently has a medical internship at the University of Southern California.

As for the our incoming youth leaders, we had a huge class for our LEAD courses in July & August! In LEAD students learn personal, people & management skills that help prepare them for the real world. Students mostly enjoyed the eating for success course, learning all about proper table ettiquette while still have a tasty meal. They also learned about budgeting, how to behave while meeting new people and tips & tricks for business interviews and speaking engagements! We can't wait for them to go out into the real world and have successes with all they learned.

During our speech contest, LEAD's culminating event, we had some outstanding orators. Komal Joshi won first place and Youth Manager Fernando Aguilar recieved second place. From that course we recieved three new recruits, Lucas Glastetter and Ashley & David Lawson, for the Youth Management Team and have spent the last month getting to know them. We feel they hold great promise for all the work they will accomplish in the years to come.

What are our YMT up to next? We are gearing up for our 3rd Annual Make a Difference Day Celebration. We will be performing litter and invasive species removal at our Trees to the Sea. Over a hundred volunteers are expected including teams from Chevron, Rotary, Key Club and Xceed Financial Credit Union.

The entire community is invited to come out and take part on our teams, lead by our Youth Leaders and Adult Partners, on Saturday, Octobrer 24th.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Tree Musketeers

Location: El Segundo, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.treemusketeers.org
Project Leader:
Marjorie Alexander
El Segundo, CA United States

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