Realized Worth thanks Jon-Erik Lappano for this guest post highlighting the socially active youth who will soon fill our corporations. Jon-Erik is Program Manager of Earth Day Canada’s EcoMentors program. Check out Earth Day Canada’s programs and initiatives at www.earthday.ca.

Trendsetters

There’s a new trend at large. Youth everywhere are doing it and the corporate sector would be wise to take note. It’s got nothing to do with the latest gadget, and it’s not a ‘Mad Men’ inspired corporate wardrobe. This trend is much bigger and it’s threatening to have a lasting impact on “business as usual.” The trend? Getting involved. They are doing it after school, after work, on weekends, and even on their lunch breaks. They’re doing it in groups, alone, in the street, in places of worship, in public parks, and at community centres. And they’re teaching younger kids how to do it. Youth are coming out in droves to actively support volunteering and civic, environmental and social engagement. Where there is a cause for a better future, youth are standing up for it, and working towards something better. A failure to include volunteerism and social/environmental responsibility at a corporate level will be a failure to attract those intelligent, entrepreneurial, and passionate youth who already display the leadership skills and ingenuity to affect meaningful change.

Earth Day Canada

As Program Manager of Earth Day Canada’s EcoMentors program, I am lucky enough to bear witness to the tenacity and passion of young community leaders who are hungry for the opportunity to raise awareness and foster environmental change. Often underestimated, the ideas and initiatives put forward by youth have been enough to embed a serious dose of hope into my personal view of our collective future. Youth who are leaders in their communities today will expect the organizations they work for in the future to do the same. Youth won’t wait. They are already well on their way to building the future they want to see, and collaborating to design organizations and groups that will implement their vision for tomorrow. It’s time for the corporate sector to catch up.

The Earth Month Youth Forum

This April 27th, Earth Day Canada and the Royal Ontario Museum are joining forces to connect 250 youth, educators, and environmental organizations together to explore key environmental issues and brainstorm solutions and approaches for community-driven, volunteer-based action. The Earth Month Youth Forum will highlight youth-led volunteerism and community engagement, run by Earth Day Canada’s EcoMentors program, which trains and develops youth volunteers to be

environmental leaders in their communities. EcoMentors are ambassadors of change, volunteering time and energy into community-based environmental education. They work with their peers and younger youth to mobilize around environmental issues and have a lasting impact in their communities. Their experiences as EcoMentors build character, a sense of hope, a call of responsibility – qualities that will carry forward to the workplace. Events like the Earth Month Youth Forum draw large crowds, and should be taken as signs directing corporations towards policies and programs that build positive relationships with communities, cultures, and ecosystems. For more information on the Earth Month Youth Forum, click here. Contact Realized Worth to discuss creating employee engagement through community investment: contact@realizedworth.com

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