Over the coming weeks, SEI will be spotlighting some of our amazing Climate Corps Fellows, who have been driving forward a wide range of sustainability solutions. First up, we are shining the spotlight on Katherine Chen Energize Colleges Fellow at San Mateo County Community College District.
What is a recent accomplishment that you are proud of?
We've established ten fully remote internships this year, in collaboration with seven local community partners in San Mateo County. This is double the number of partner sites we had last year, so I'm very proud our program has expanded our support to local organizations, and local connections for our students to explore.
What is the most important skill or lesson that you have learned during your fellowship?
Being flexible, honest, and kind when trying to bring my 'best' to work each day. Before my fellowship, I believed success was measured by being equally productive each day, and fully accomplishing each of your original stated goals. Over time - and during the pandemic - I realized that these are often unrealistic expectations and not sustainable for myself. Practicing that kindness, understanding that our 'best' may look different from day to day, and accepting that our capabilities grow over time if we allow ourselves to see those gaps, is something I'm continuing to learn.
If you were a sustainable technology or item, which one would you be and why?
This may be unconventional, but probably a type of decomposer! Sustainability is all about healthy cycles, and I think their ability to transform organic materials past their time into a form that can support life, or be used again, is nothing short of a superpower.
Climate Corps, a flagship program of SEI, is a bridge-to-career Fellowship program that recruits and places rising climate professionals with local governments, non-profits, educational institutions, and for-profit partners to implement climate change mitigation and resiliency projects.
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