Blog Post By Jona Elwell

Farewell to Erica Young, our Tireless Volunteer Coordinator

While we are thrilled that she is moving on to bigger and better things (find out what below!), we are bummed to announce that our volunteer coordinator Erica’s last day is August 31. To celebrate her time with us, we asked her a few questions about her adventures at Casey Trees. Interested in our volunteer program? Think you would be a great fit? Check out the position description here.

Casey Trees (CT): Where (or what) will you be moving on to?
Erica Young (EY): I will be attending a part-time Master’s program at UMBC in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology. I/O Psychology is the study of workplace productivity, management and employee working styles. This information is utilized by companies/organizations to improve morale and workplace management. I haven’t decided what I am doing in the time that I am not going to class. I’m currently seeking opportunities in human capital and consulting, so I can “get my feet wet” in that career path. So stay tuned!

CT: What has been your biggest, best, or favorite achievement during your time at Casey Trees?
EY: I think I have laid the groundwork for new upcoming volunteer programs and I’m really proud of that. I think there is a lot of potential at Casey Trees—so many potential opportunities for caring folks to contribute in their own ways to our mission and I am proud to have laid the groundwork for that expansion. Oh also, Mayor Muriel Bowser and I handed out the team leader graduation hats at the final planting in spring 2017 at Francis Field and Dog Park. It was quite the achievement.

CT: What has surprised you most working at Casey Trees?
EY: When I came to Casey Trees I didn’t realize that Casey Trees has so many opportunities for folks: Planting opportunities for homeowners, large-landowners, so many volunteer opportunities and free classes. Casey Trees truly has something to offer everyone—it’s an amazingly impressive compilation of activities and resources that all bring us to the same goal: Restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the nation’s capital.

CT: Do you have any advice for future volunteer engagement coordinators?
EY: Sure—Plan early, listen deeply and have fun!

CT: If you could only bring one album to listen to on a desert island, what would it be?
EY: Easy. Beyoncé’s Lemonade.  

CT: If you were a sandwich, what kind would you be?
EY: Hmm I’d be a veggie burger on pretzel bun with tomatoes, spinach and avocado—oh and a chipotle aioli for a little spice.

CT: Last but not least, favorite tree?
EY: Today, my favorite tree is the sycamore. I was walking down my street yesterday and came across a large, majestic sycamore street tree and was kind of entranced. Given my career transition, I was enamored by the changing bark of the sycamore. As a young- middle age tree it has white, smooth, camouflage bark, but as it grows older, a darker, rougher bark takes the place, starting at the base. I know it’s weird, but it kind of feels like a metaphor for my life—I’m starting to establish my dark, protective, unique layer of bark that will guide me throughout life. (Deep, I know). Also, they’re beautiful trees and give me great shade on hot days!

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