I’m Mandy, a recent graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and the Celebrate Shorebirds Intern based in Washington, DC, our Nation’s Capital.  Here in DC, EFTA is partnered with many organizations, including the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC) where I’m serving as their Migratory Bird Director.

My first few weeks have been filled with learning as much as I can about both organizations, including the ways the ECC has and continues to help out the Southeast Washington DC community.  On my second day, I had the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony for the participants of the Youth Creating Change program (YCC).  The YCC program connects DC youth with DC Metropolitan Police and they go through team building exercises to create meaningful mentor/mentee relationships. As partners, the ECC and Futuremakers helped with Guns to Roses 2016 where the kids learned welding and blacksmithing skills.  Using those skills, they created a bench from scratch with lumber and seized illegal guns that had been taken apart. To show support for the program and its graduates, DC chief of police Cathy L. Lanier and Joe Persichini of the DC Police Foundation were there as well as other partners including the US Coast Guard, FutureMakers, and Pepco.

Link to ABC News piece on YCC

DC Chief Cathy L Lanier accepting the bench created through the Guns to Roses 2016 Project.

I was truly honored to be apart of this celebration. Learning about the programs we support and host makes me excited about all of the opportunities I’ll have in the coming year to make a change in the DC metropolitan community.

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