My name is Elise Cabato and I Am TreePeople. I am currently a Youth Leadership Summer Tree Care Intern this summer for TreePeople. Before my internship I was just an incoming senior at UCLA studying Geography & Environmental Studies trying to get almost anything to build my resume before being thrown out into the real world. However, after the 9 weeks I’ve spent interning at TreePeople, I can confidently say that I have gained a new outlook on my future endeavors, the future of Los Angeles County, and the amazing organization that is TreePeople.
When I first arrived at Coldwater Canyon I really didn’t know what to expect. I was quickly introduced to the layout of TreePeople, the traffic up the canyon, the yurts, the mulch trails, and the amazing group of people who work day in and day out to run this organization. On my first visit to TreePeople headquarters, surrounded by gorgeous flora, I took a deep breath of fresh air and thought, “Wow, people actually work here.” From that moment on I was captivated. I jumped straight into training and learned the basics of tree care, and with the support from Candice Russell and my fellow interns I began the internship.
My mission: to guide John Marshall High School and Ashrag Dickranian School through their own tree care projects over 8 to 9 weeks of the summer. It has been incredible to see how much these young teenagers are willing and eager to learn about the environment right in their backyard. I not only saw their drive to become informed about their own sites but also their willingness to volunteer their time and summer to restoring their selected areas. These groups of teenagers showed me that the future of an environmentally friendly Los Angeles County is really in their hands and with the help and guidance from an organization like TreePeople I definitely feel that we’re looking at a brighter, more sustainable future for LA.