Internship Program – Cultivating the Next Generation of Climate Leaders
Our internship program provides leadership opportunities for young people working to address climate change and to create opportunity in their communities. Interns gain important knowledge and skills for effective leadership in the emerging clean energy economy.
Our interns are immersed in a wide range of hands-on activities: they craft and pass state legislation, obtain funding for community groups, influence federal policy, publish Op-Eds and articles, convene town halls across the state, testify at important state hearings, and more. Thus far we have trained twenty-five interns from areas including the Navajo Nation, Taos Pueblo, San Ildefonso Pueblo, Clayton, Las Cruces, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. New Energy Economy has partnered with organizations like Earth Care and ¡YouthWorks! to bring more opportunities to our interns and collaborate on important community projects.
“I’m proud to say that I’ve worked with New Energy Economy. I learned how to address climate change issues and improved my writing skills. I feel more prepared for college now.” —Bryan Watchman
Areas of training and experience
Researching and Developing Legislation and Regulations:
Interns have the opportunity to turn ideas into a reality by writing legislation and regulations. Past interns have assisted in researching, developing, and writing legislation and regulations, including the Green Jobs Act (HB622) and the Development Training Funds for Green Jobs (SB318).
Testifying at Public Hearings: Interns make inspirational testimonies at City Council and County Commissioner public hearings, and were instrumental in getting carbon pollution reduction rules adopted in New Mexico during the 2010 Environmental Improvement Board hearings.
Addressing Economic Inequalities: Interns do research with indigenous communities on the Navajo nation adversely affected by uranium and coal mining. They also organize and participate in workshops with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) and Prosperity Works around policies and programs that protect low-income families.
Creating Opportunities for Rural Communities and Communities of Color: Interns travel throughout the state to advocate for local initiatives that support rural, tribal, and low-income communities. They have worked with Pueblos to promote green building and energy efficiency, and they have successfully written grants to obtain funding for Dooda Desert Rock, a Navajo organization working to stop the Desert Rock Coal Plant.
Campaign Strategy: Interns receive training from New Energy Economy, New Mexico Youth Organized and the Center for Civic Policy on how to develop and implement effective issue campaigns.
Communications: Interns learn to develop their message for policy-makers, individuals in rural and urban communities, media, businesses, children, communities of color, and their peers.
Media: Interns learn how to write Op-Eds, letters to the editors and press releases. They research and write pieces on an issue of their choice and our consultants help them place the pieces in publications throughout New Mexico.
- Read Susan Bonicillo’s Op Ed in the New Mexican
- Read Sam Kessler’s article in the Green Fire Times
- Read Ariel Parrella Aureli’s article in La Montinita Co-op’s Newsletter
- Read Bryan Watchman’s article Making Clean Energy a Reality in the Green Fire Times
- Read former intern Noah Gapsis’ Op-Ed in the New Mexican
- Read an article about former intern Jorge Martinez in the New Mexican
- Read about our interns in the Green Fire Times (PDF Download)
Film and Alternative Mediums of Organizing: Interns helped create a documentary film highlighting the green jobs movement in New Mexico and on Navajo Nation. The film premiered at the Native American Film Festival at the Indian Market in August 2009.
Internet Advocacy: Interns work with new web-based tools to learn how to activate communities throughout New Mexico.
Grant Writing: Interns receive training with professional grant writers to develop proposals and understand reporting requirements.
Learning By Doing: Interns enjoy hands-on experience with the latest renewable and clean technologies in New Mexico including as solar panels, wind turbines, and biomass reactors. Interns also have spend time doing field work, such as river clean-ups, tree planting, weatherization, as well as home building with Habitat for Humanity using the latest sustainable building techniques.