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KAEE and Kentucky State University co-host the first Green Career Summit

The Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) and Kentucky State University co-hosted the first Green Career Summit at the Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm on Kentucky State University's campus in Frankfort, KY on May 2, 2024.

The Summit welcomed over 150 local high school students from Eminence Independent Schools in Henry County, Frankfort High School in Franklin County, and Frederick Douglass High School and Carter G. Woodson Academy, both in Fayette County.

During this one-day event, students had the opportunity to move through different stations showcasing various green career pathways related to forestry, water, education, sustainability, climate, and environmental stewardship. The summit provided a platform for knowledge sharing, networking, and showcasing accomplishments.

Seventeen mentors from eleven diverse sectors and backgrounds provided information and interactive field opportunities that allowed students to solve problems and learn about green job opportunities.

Participating schools each received the Project Learning Tree’s Green Jobs curriculum and the Black Faces in Green Spaces: The Journeys of Black Professionals in Green Careers career resource guide to use with their students. Schools will also receive a $500 subgrant to use for a project that extends the learning experience around green careers in their school or community.

KAEE would like to thank Kentucky State University president Dr. Koffi C. Akakpo for his support of the event, KSU faculty and staff for their collaboration and contributions, and a special thank you to the members of the Kentucky State University football team for volunteering during the event.

We’d also like to thank the administrators, teachers, and bus drivers who worked to organize, supervise, and transport the students to enable them to participate in the event.

This event wouldn’t have been possible without the career mentors and the planning team. We’d like to thank them for all their work they put into making the first Green Career Summit a success.

Career Mentors

Bob Bauer, Kentucky Forest Industries Association

Colin Duncan, Kentucky Division of Water

David Gomez, Daily Green Power

Kaitlynn Gootee, Kentucky State University

Lauren Hendrickson, Olmsted Parks Conservancy

Michaela Lambert, Kentucky Division of Water

Laura Lhotka, UK Forestry

Andy McDonald, Apogee – Climate & Energy Transitions

Sheila Medina, UK Center for Applied Energy Research

Evan Moser, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

Jason Nally, Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves

Oakes Rhoutt, Stantec

Ian Ries, Kentucky State University

Byron Roberts, Frankfort Division of Solid Waste

Pam Snyder, Kentucky Division of Forestry

Brittany Woodward, Keep Kentucky Beautiful

Michael Zachary, Natural Resources Conservation Service

Green Career Summit Planning Team Members

Bob Bauer, Kentucky Forest Industries Association

Alethea Bernard, Kentucky State University

Kasia Bradley, Kentucky State University

Wesley Bullock, Kentucky Environmental Education Council

Kaitlynn Gootee, Kentucky State University

Ashley Hoffman, KAEE

Jason Nally, Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves

Ian Ries, Kentucky State University

Louis Ross, Kentucky State University

Perry Thomas, KAEE

Jody Thompson, Kentucky State University

Melinda Wilder, KAEE

Michelle Wilson, KAEE

Brittany Wray, KAEE

Funding for the event was provided by NAAEE’s ee360+ Year 3 State Capacity Building Grants.

KAEE hopes to expand the Green Career Summit into an annual event in order to increase student engagement in green career exploration through workshops, mentorship programs, and events and increase student interest in pursuing higher education and careers in the environmental sector.

If you are interested in supporting educators to expand awareness of the field of EE and other green jobs and career pathways for Kentucky middle, high school, and college students, you can join KAEE’s Green Jobs action team. You can also get involved with KAEE by becoming a member or volunteering.


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