DCIP Spotlight: Jendayi Joell Fosters Healthy Communities Through Garden Stewardship

During Summer 2017, CTNC hired 19 interns for full-time, 10-week, paid internships through the Diversity in Conservation Internship Program (DCIP) to provide hands-on opportunities for students to gain the skills and experience necessary for a successful career in conservation. The program aims to increase racial and ethnic diversity within conservation organizations and engagement with groups underrepresented in conservation careers. Meet Jendayi Joell, a 2017 intern with the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center.

Our Diversity in Conservation Internship program not only connects our participants to their local community, but fosters their passion for the environment.

Jendayi Joell, Farm to School Healthcare Intern, believes “that we are meant to be stewards of the land.”

“It is our job collectively to ensure that the land is healthy and cared for. It provides us with food, shelter, medicine and a variety of other necessities, and therefore it is important we conserve our natural resources for our sake and the sake of future generations.”

Jendayi served at the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center this past summer. In the mornings, she could be found in the community garden with her group of Garden Stewards—nine students from the local high school—watering, harvesting, washing and weighing the crops to be bagged and distributed to the patients at the health clinic.

Her afternoons were spent in the office researching North Carolina native plants for the rain garden and walking trails in the community. Her overall goal was to create a sustainable garden that could provide free or reduced cost produce to the Center’s patients.

Through her experience as a DCIP intern, Jendayi has “learned that it is possible for a group of unlikely partners to come together and create something that not only seeks to benefit the community but does so by connecting the realms of healthy living, environmental stewardship, and education.”

“Your internship may have hard, long and hot days, but remember the end goal. Know that you are impacting others and that this experience will be an incredible opportunity for personal and professional growth.”

CTNC and our partners are proud to cultivate and provide support to our future conservation leaders. We can’t wait to see how Jendayi and the rest of the 2017 Diversity in Conservation Internship Program participants continue to advocate for conservation and work to save the places you love across North Carolina!

About CTNC’s Emerging Leaders Program

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s Emerging Leaders Program helps connect young people to the outdoors where they can establish a lifelong appreciation for the natural world and an understanding of the critical benefits that land and water conservation provides. Through the Diversity in Conservation Internship ProgramCTNC AmeriCorpsNC Youth Conservation Corps, and Future Leaders of Conservation advisory board, CTNC creates employment pathways by connecting young people to academic studies and careers in conservation. Learn more at www.ctnc.org/connect/emergingleaders.