Meet Our New Staff: Jackie and Olivia
As a student at Western Kentucky University I did an internship in the Environmental Education department at Mammoth Cave which sparked a passion in me to encourage the younger generation to take on a more sustainable future. I later pursued a Masters in Natural Resources with emphasis in Environmental Education from the University of Idaho and went on to work in the environmental education and outdoor recreation field. Previous to coming to Bluegrass Greensource I was working in West Virginia as a Science Educator at a museum, the Director of Outdoor Education at an adventure resort and as a zip line guide.
My first couple weeks at Bluegrass Greensource have been a whirlwind of learning the ropes, being welcomed by my kind and passionate co-workers and moving back to my hometown of Lexington. I have been impressed with the variety and depth of programming that we have and the commitment to green and healthy lifestyles that are modeled at BGGS. My favorite thing so far has been meeting with the teachers that I will be working with in coming year. They have all shown so much enthusiasm for our program and mission. I am excited for the coming months and years of teaching environmental education to my community.
I am Olivia Oakley, and I am the AmeriCorps VISTA for Bluegrass Greensource. I am serving my VISTA term as an energy efficiency educator. In this position I will be focusing on presenting weatherization workshops for low-income adults, updating the energy efficiency audit kits and BGGS website information on energy efficiency, and creating new energy efficiency activities for Title 1 school children. Originally from London, KY I moved to Lexington, KY to go to college at Transylvania University. There I designed my own Bachelor’s degree in American Studies consisting of three fields -U.S. History, Gender Studies, and Religion. During my years as a Transylvania Pioneer I served as co-coordinator of V.O.I.C.E. (Transylvania University’s feminist organization on campus), an August Term Scholar, a secretary for TUnity (Transylvania University’s LGBTQ* alliance and community organization), and as a Volunteer Coordinator intern with the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement. I am particularly interested in issues impacting the well-being of queer and trans youth, problem solving sustainability issues in urban areas, and ending poverty in our Lexington community. My first couple weeks has been filled with lots of research and communicating with BGGS staff on energy efficiency. I am excited to get the energy audit kits back to the lexington public libraries and hopefully get more people interested in using them through weatherization workshops in the following fall/winter months!