Introducing IonE’s 2018 Right Track interns
Educating and empowering the next generation of leaders is central to the Institute on the Environment’s mission to “lead the way toward a future in which people and the environment prosper together.” That’s why IonE has partnered with the City of Saint Paul’s Right Track program to offer summer-long internships for a cohort of Saint Paul high school students.
Right Track provides internship opportunities for high school students and recent graduates with local businesses and community organizations. Through IonE’s participation in Right Track, our interns will hone valuable professional skills, gain exposure to career possibilities in research and the environment, and work as part of a welcoming and purpose-driven team.
We hosted our first group of interns in 2017, and this June we enthusiastically welcomed our second cohort, who will be working with four different project teams within IonE through late August. After only a few weeks together, we’re already grateful for their dedication to excellence, eagerness to learn and ask questions, and willingness to challenge themselves while gaining new skills and applying their experiences in new ways. Each of our interns is motivated by unique educational and career goals, and they each bring unique experiences and skills to their work. The projects they work on are just as diverse, ranging from crafting engaging social media strategies to mentoring children in environmental camps to preparing literature reviews for researchers.
While the interns are developing new capabilities, they are also bringing new ways of looking at familiar questions, sharing their unique experiences, and helping everyone at IonE expand our vision of the contributions that dedicated young people can make to the work of building a sustainable future. We’re grateful for the chance to get to know these developing leaders over their nine-week internships – and excited to share a bit about them with you.
Meet Our Right Track Interns
Najma Ali graduated from Central Senior High in May and is looking forward to beginning the next stage of her education this fall as a student at the University of Minnesota, studying Biology, Society & Environment. After her time at the U, Najma plans to pursue a career in medicine. She joined us with a wealth of professional experience already, having completed three previous internships with Right Track that gave her experience in public relations, community development, and human rights advocacy. As part of the Sustainability Education team at IonE she is drawing on her experience to support student sustainability programming, spending her time gathering data, creating social media strategies, and learning about sustainability from her supportive supervisors.
Mohamed Abdi has returned to IonE a second time after completing an internship with us last summer. After graduating from high school in 2017, Mohamed has been studying computer science at Saint Paul College. Last year Mohamed impressed us all with his dedication and willingness to explore unfamiliar and complex scientific topics in his work helping his supervisor Barrett Colombo and the Global Landscapes Initiative create cutting-edge briefings on the global food system. In his second year at IonE, Mohamed hopes to connect with even more of IonE’s staff and learn about their research and leadership work.
Lucille Omwena is drawing on her passion and experience with chemistry in her work with the NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise at IonE. During her junior year of high school, Lucille interned with 3M’s Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing division, gaining exciting lab experience that convinced her to continue studying chemistry. She’s definitely drawing on that familiarity with chemistry and research as she’s creating literature reviews to support her NorthStar team’s research into methane emissions. This fall, she’ll begin her bachelor’s degree at St. Catherine University, studying her favorite subject, chemistry.
Betsy Vue is supporting the Natural Capital team by familiarizing herself with relevant literature and creating organization systems to guide next steps in their research. Betsy graduated from Harding Senior High this spring, where she was actively involved in student leadership and academic achievement program. In fall, she’ll begin her undergraduate studies at Hamline University; she’s interested in all sorts of science and considering a major in forensic science.