Expanding Equitable Green Opportunities for Youth in Highline (E2GOYH) is a paid summer internship that equips high school students with knowledge, skills, and inspiration they need to pursue conservation careers while they earn a stipend and school credit. Through a combination of classroom and field-based learning, students gain valuable ecological restoration experience, hone their leadership and communication skills, and make professional connections within the environmental community. The ultimate goal of E2GOYH is to increase access for students from traditionally excluded and low-income communities to explore natural resources and conservation jobs by adding a critical element to the career pathway in these sectors.
Students completed the six-week program with overnight stays at Camp Waskowitz and presented their own restoration project proposals to industry partners, Highline School District educators, and staff from Pacific Education Institute and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. The restoration project proposals targeted sections of park near the students’ homes, Salmon Creek Ravine, and included the restoration goal, a site map, inventory, plans for removing invasive species and planting native species, and budget considerations. Students incorporated the knowledge and experience gained from classroom and field experiences where they learned to remove various noxious weeds, safely apply herbicides, conduct stream surveys, maintain trails, and various other restoration activities. Students also learned about environmental justice and honed their job search skills through resume sessions and mock interviews.