By Katy Cox, Meigs High School Student
My internship through Rural Action and the Environmental Education Council of Ohio was the first internship I have ever participated in. Through it, I have learned many different skills and learned much more about the environment and the environmental career spectrum, which is more than just what falls into the category of “eco-friendly” or “environmentally conscious” jobs.
I’ve learned that you can get into this career in many ways. Often, people fail to investigate this field, but for people who love nature, it can be a great choice. No two jobs are the same: some require degrees while others require high school diplomas, salaries range widely, and the work varies from job to job. But one thing that seemed common with all the participants I interviewed was that they greatly enjoy their jobs (and equally dislike paperwork and grants) and, given the option, they will stay in the environmental field due to the opportunities it offers compared to other jobs.
The environmental field also affects the community in a positive way. I had the opportunity to meet in-person with Joe Brehm at the Rural Action office, and he showed me how they’d turned water from mining runoff into paints for kids to use. This was both fun for the kids, and a fun way to teach them about their part in helping nature. This field offers the opportunity to be out in nature interacting with or teaching the community about how we can protect our planet and the small ways ordinary people can help.
This internship has been truly eye-opening to a wide range of careers I hadn’t seriously considered before. I recommend any student who hasn’t investigated it before to do so now.
(Katy will be entering her junior year at Meigs High School this fall.)