Hello! My name is Kira and I am one of the 2018 Fall Interns for the Global Co Lab Network. I have enjoyed this internship very much and am so grateful for this organization and all that it does! This position has allowed me to learn about so many things, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG’s) and many useful skills that I will take with me and utilize for all and any opportunities that come my way. This position has broaden my knowledge and my opportunities by connecting me with so many inspiring teens and all the organizations that are part of the Co Lab’s amazing network.

During this internship, my job as the Environmental Network Intern consists of collaborating with the Smithsonian Conservation Commons and other environmental organizations 
to engage teens globally on issues focused on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our plan is to host a series of small groups called Design Salons, building on the Co Lab’s methodology. We had our first salon on Sunday, Nov. 4th, 2018 where we started to build a local DMV area network of teen leaders, local teachers, and local organizations to help us create a vast network of teen eco-oriented activists that the Smithsonian can access over time. In addition, that Salon will instruct a series of follow up Salons that focus on building a series of “Dream Hubs” – virtual rooms led by Teen Ambassadors with adult mentors on specific environmental themes aligned with the SDGs. These salons will focus on cleaning up plastics, reducing food waste, addressing water issues, and working on other topics identified by teens.

We seek teens who are passionate about the environment and who want to work with other teens striving for a greater impact globally. This network will help instruct, design and participate in follow up Design Salon gatherings developing Hubs for virtual teen action, working collaboratively on positive action for the planet.  Many​ ​​teens work in isolation, at their schools, in clubs, with organizations – as do most adults in their work worlds. The Conservation Commons and the Co Lab are all about connecting people to work more intentionally in a collaborative fashion. This project is about empowering teens and connecting them to established networks to achieve greater impact.

I have been inspired by all these teens whom are taking charge on their passions to change the world for the better and letting the world know that the youth of every generation to come is always going to have a voice.