Young people pursuing green careers are benefitting from the advice and guidance of mentors in the forestry and conservation sectors through Project Learning Tree Canada’s My Green Mentor Program, delivered by Pollinate Networks Inc.
The My Green Mentor Program is a new PLT Canada initiative that enhances the organization’s mandate to place youth into green jobs.
The program directly connects youth ages 18-30 from across Canada to professionals working in the forest and conservation sectors for a six-month mentorship experience. It is designed to help participants enter and succeed within the workforce, setting them on the path to grow their knowledge, skills and network over the course of their careers.
The pilot phase of the My Green Mentor Program began in March with the creation of 25 mentee-mentor pairs. Each pair was matched using Pollinate’s algorithm that takes into account individual personalities, learning styles, goals, locations, interests, and existing skills and expertise.
Mentees and mentors will meet virtually for six months (and possibly in-person if COVID-19 social distancing restrictions are lifted). The mentees will also take part in a parallel learning process, the Green Pathway Plan, to help them develop their career pathway in forestry and conservation.
The Green Pathway Plan includes a career development guidebook and an online workbook hosted on the Pollinate platform. This process begins with helping mentees set goals and topics for each mentorship meeting, along with building understanding of green career opportunities.
In addition to improving specific skills and habits, and learning from the experience and insights of their mentors, mentees engage in self-assessment and self-reflection to understand their learning advantages. They research and map their educational and career path, developing a Green Pathway Plan to support their career aspirations, and will receive a $250 bursary upon its completion by the end of the mentorship program.
“Pollinate is proud to work with PLT Canada to deliver this innovative career development opportunity,” said Christy Pettit, CEO of Pollinate Networks. “These young people will gain confidence, learn about opportunities that exist within forestry and conservation, and increase their technical and soft skills while building their networks for future success.”
“The My Green Mentor Program builds on our green jobs initiative by helping young people as they navigate green career pathways,” said Kathy Abusow, PLT Canada President and CEO. “We’re incredibly grateful to the Government of Canada and our employer partners across the country for their incredible support and commitment to growing the next generation of forest and conservation leaders.”
This mentorship opportunity comes at a critical point for young people beginning their careers, said Tara Topping, PLT Canada’s Manager, Career Education. “This is a time to dream, to learn and to explore to see where that path can take them.
“One of the really incredible things about the program is the diversity of professionals who are contributing their time as mentors. We have mentors working in education, in policy development and in value-added forestry services. Others are developing products to help solve climate change. It’s so big and so broad – our hope is that the mentees get onto that right path and the world opens up for them.”
Young people who are interested in future opportunities to apply for the My Green Mentor Program are invited to sign up for PLT Canada’s newsletter.
About Project Learning Tree Canada (pltcanada.org)
Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) believes in a society that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests and the natural world. PLT Canada is committed to using the outdoors to engage youth in learning about the world around them—in rural, Indigenous and urban communities—and using trees and forests as windows on the world to inspire action and grow the next generation of future forest and conservation leaders. Since 2018, the organization has placed over 2,000 youth in Green Jobs, thanks in large part to the incredible support of partners across both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Canadian Park Council networks. PLT Canada is funded in part by the Government of Canada and is an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
About Pollinate Networks Inc. (stage.pollinate.net)
Pollinate Networks Inc. is a software and services company that helps organizations transfer knowledge and grow practical know-how to build capacity and increase effectiveness. Our assessments and algorithm-based matching are the foundation for agile learning pathways and mentoring experiences, supported by robust activity tracking and measurement tools on our cloud-based platform. Pollinate delivers its suite of virtual solutions to clients in financial services, manufacturing, government, not-for-profit and other sectors for effectiveness initiatives such as digital transformation, organizational integration, leadership development, upskilling, culture change and employee engagement. Learn more about Pollinate Mentoring Programs.