Groundwork Jacksonville recently kicked off the fourth summer of its Green Team Youth Corps apprenticeship, a program that works to instill environmental stewardship and leadership skills among youth in under served urban core neighborhoods.
This year’s Green Team is the largest yet with 21 teens who live, work, worship or attend school within one of Groundwork Jacksonville’s Emerald Necklace impact neighborhoods. Five members are returning from the 2016 and 2017 summer apprenticeship. In addition, 2015/2016 Green Team alumna Breona Green will serve as one of the team’s youth leaders. A Jacksonville native and Darnell Cookman graduate, Breona earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Coastal Environmental Science from Flagler College in St. Augustine and plans to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. “I am so excited and honored to work with the Green Team this summer and I hope to help instill in each of them the confidence, communications skills and work ethic that the Green Team taught me,” said Green.
The Green Team is split into two cohorts. One group works Monday and Wednesday, the other Tuesday and Thursday. All the teens come together Friday each week for a special recreational or service activity. Most days include a work project in the morning, followed by an enrichment activity and reflection in the afternoon.
The Green Team will spend the summer improving the S-Line Rail Trail, exploring and helping to maintain our city and national parks, and leading community improvement projects to renew the S-Line. They also will enjoy a variety of recreational and enrichment activities exposing the teens to kayaking, fishing, science, art, environmental justice issues, financial literacy, resume building and more.
The apprenticeship runs through Aug. 3, and each teen will earn an educational stipend as well as community service hours for volunteer work. In addition, four members of the team will be selected to attend a Yellowstone National Park Green Corps Experience in Aug. 2018, where they will join other Green Team youth from around the country with all expenses paid by Groundwork USA, Groundwork Jacksonville and donors.
Meet the 2018 Green Team (Name, Age, School)
Arthur Hairston 13 Lakeshore Middle
Abbigale Seay 13 Fort Caroline Middle
Zion Bell 13 Kirby Smith Middle School
Ian Wu* 14 Stanton College Prep
Bertrise Alford 14 Young Women’s Leadership Academy
Kayla Beauge 14 Ribault Sr. High
Ella Humphries 14 Stanton College Prep
Zharia Bowles 14 Kirby Smith Middle School
Jackaria Bell 14 Ribault Sr. High
Kah’mari’ Daniels 14 Mayport Middle School
Treasure Harris* 14 Fort Caroline Middle
William Washington 15 Ribault Sr. High
Josiah Stroman 15 William M. Raines High
Kenard Robinson 15 Ribault Sr. High
Andrew VanWey 16 Stanton College Prep
Kaleb Gailyard* 16 William M. Raines High
Sherley Vixamar 16 Darnell-Cookman High
Jada Cummings* 16 Robert E. Lee High
Logan Hudson 16 River City Science Academy
Fransheska Bailon 17 Darnell-Cookman High
Madison Morgan* 18 Homeschooled
* Returning Members