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Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, Inc. (MEVO)
1170 Ramapo Valley Road
DescriptionMEVO (Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization, Inc.) is looking for a kick ass high-school, college, or graduate student who can lead our 2014 Summer Earth Crew as its Crew Leader. This internship is designed for someone who wants to be a leader in environmental sustainability, an activist throughout their local community, and make a difference in creating a better future. Every year we have really inspirational Earth Crew Leaders and we are looking for our next one. For this leadership position we are looking for someone who is honest, responsible, passionate, out-going, friendly, and has a basic understanding of environmental values. It does not matter what your experience in community organizing or community social change is. If you meet the personality requirements above we would love to hear from you. This is the third year MEVO’s Earth Crew continuing a legacy of environmental activism and education by empowering and training environmental sustainability leaders. It is a hands-on learning experience that shows you how to create, develop, and implement environmental social change on a local level and how to manage, grow, and lead a not-for-profit organization.
This summer you and your fellow crew members will work throughout the Northern New Jersey area to accomplish several large environmental action projects:
1. In partnership with the Ramapough Lunaape Nation you will organize community members in cleaning up illegal trash dumping on Stag Hill in Mahwah, New Jersey. You will also carry out community based research on how to stop the illegal trash dumping from returning. You will be the voice calling for action to address this very serious environmental justice problem.
2. Building a hiking trail, stopping massive soil erosion, and serving as stewards of conservation spaces with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference (NYNJTC). Preservation and an understanding of how to manage recreational uses is of critical importance to the health of eco-systems
3. Cleaning up, restoring, and reimagining the Catherine Avenue Vacant Lot in Mahwah, New Jersey. This vacant lot will be fully cleaned this summer and we will meet with community members to discuss its future and how to create it.
4. Distributing compost bins and systems to residents, homes, and communities throughout the Northern NJ area. In addition, educating people on how to use these systems and hosting community workshops.
5. Using the practices of strategic volunteerism and directive education to inspire social change in local communities and grow a larger environmental movement in Northern NJ.
There will also be a wide variety of other local actions you will be engaged in such as working with our Farm Crew (summer internships also available) in building the Bergen County Educational Farm.
ResponsibilitiesDuring the internship you will spend your day outdoors building hiking trails, organizing community members to take action on environmental problems, distributing compost bins to local communities, organizing massive trash clean-ups, identifying native plants and endangered species, meeting with community members to engage more local residents in environmental sustainability and building solutions to local and global environmental problems. You will also spend time in our office developing environmental sustainability projects, outreaching to local community groups, organizing local communities, meeting with political officials, and getting hands on experience managing a not-for-profit organization from social media and website development to grant applications.
Other responsibilities are:
1. Leading and Inspiring: It doesn’t matter your age, your education, or your prior environmental experience. We are looking for personality and for someone who is willing to give this their all and inspire their crew to achieve an amazing difference. You will have up to 15 crew members of varying ages working for you all summer. They will all look to you as a mentor to guide their education and experience in making a better world. It’s a big responsibility but you can do it!
2. Organizing projects and work: You are responsible for all the projects that the Earth Crew needs to accomplish this summer. Removing thousands of pounds of trash, distributing hundreds of compost bins, building hiking trails, organizing speakers, planning volunteer days, you are the one person who needs to be the most organized out of your entire crew. You need to be early for every meeting and the last person to leave at the end of the day. Your crew is counting on you.
3. Physical volunteering and getting dirty: MEVO’s volunteer work is tiring and you need to be in good physical shape and willing to work hard. You will spend A LOT of your summer outdoors in the heat and mud!
4. Emailing, phone calling, and meeting: Community organizing today requires you to use technology! You will get a huge amount of experience emailing, phone calling, and meeting with public officials from all spectrums of our communities. There will be indoor office work so be ready for it!
5. Public speaking and making decisions: This is an unpaid internship and as an unpaid crew member, we want you to end your internship with skills, abilities, and an education on how to be a leader and get people involved. This means that you will speak in public in front of groups of people of all ages and be asked to make difficult decisions with sometimes little guidance and help.
6. Teaching: You will be a mentor and leader for your crew. They will look to you to teach them how to navigate community dynamics, engage volunteers, organize community members, and make social change happen. You need to be energized and optimistic because if you aren’t excited about your crew then no one else will.
RequirementsTitle: Crew Leader
Days for the Internship: Monday, Thursday, and Saturday
In this internship you will receive a strong education in: Leadership, Empowerment of people to take action, Social Change, Ecological Sustainability / Environmental Sustainability, Opportunities for careers and futures in the environmental, not-for-profit, and sustainability field, Not-for-profit management.
This is an unpaid part-time internship three days a week. Our past earth crew leaders had paid-jobs in addition to their internship with MEVO. This internship can be used for academic credit and we are always willing to hear requests for custom schedules for internships or volunteer work.
If you are interested in a full-time Earth Crew internship more than three days a week, it is 100% possible and should be mentioned in your application.
You will also leave our crew with friends who will stick with you and the support of MEVO for any future endeavors you go on to accomplish. What could be better!?
1. Planning in Spring: The crew starts in May. This means you need to start pre-planning the crews activities and meeting your crew members in the spring. This doesn’t mean that if you are at a college out of state you can’t be a crew leader but rather you are going to have to have a lot more Skype meetings and emails. Pre-planning for the summer needs happen in the spring so you must be willing to do this while working or in school.
2. Taking your work home with you: Over the summer you will work hard, however, as a leader you will receive the biggest benefit. You will see the amount of pollution you remove from communities, the people you mobilize to take serious action for environmental sustainability, the partners and people you bring in to collaborate on your projects, and the visible difference you have made throughout many areas of Northern NJ. You must be willing to be on call at all times, answering emails, making phone calls, and sometimes attending meetings on your days off.
3. Mode of transportation: MEVO operates throughout North Jersey, which means during the internship we will travel throughout this greater area. You need a way to get to our meet up location in Mahwah, NJ. We carpool most days so you will likely either be driving the carpool or carpooling in someone else’s ride.
4. Attendance: As a crew member, you are required to be at every day of our internship. You can’t have a crew if only two people show up. We allow one week of vacation time from our internship.
5. Working Laptop: Our office work requires a laptop that you can use. We have electricity and internet access. Sorry, but hand written letters just are not a way to get things done quickly and we are running out of time!
6. 5 Day Ananda Ashram Trip: This trip is going to be one of the most-awesome experiences of the summer. You must be able to take a few days off to attend this trip. It will be directly in the middle of the summer mid or late July.