My name is Andre Newman II. I’m a security manager from Falls Church and a former Boy Scout. I’ve been using various hiking trails and parks across the DMV to meditate, train, recharge, or even escape the pace of the city for over a decade. I hope to show and share the value of accessing the outdoors throughout life. Don’t forget, Hydration first!
Kaila Philo is a journalist based in Washington, DC. She's passionate about urban farming, yoga, hiking, and exploring.
A native Pennsylvanian, Katherine fell in love with the outdoors at an early age. During her teens, she spent summers camping in MD and hiking in Central PA. Now living in Northern Virginia, she enjoys her weekends exploring local trails and state national parks. Katherine hopes to inspire others to be adventurous in nature but also respect and care for it.
Kristen Walker is a Ph.D. student in Bioenvironmental Science at Morgan State University. Her dissertation research focuses on environmental justice and education by evaluating soil quality on black-owned urban farms in Baltimore city. Kristen is a student researcher with Morgan CARES, a network of diverse and innovative stakeholders, who work together on issues to address health inequalities in Baltimore. Kristen is the graduate chair of Morgan’s Community Based Participatory Research Club and is the recipient of a seed grant to form Morgan’s first Science Policy Group, for which she serves as President. Concurrent to being a full-time Ph.D. student, Kristen is also employed as a full-time Biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service. She previously received a master’s degree in Agriculture from Kansas State University, and a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Additionally, Kristen is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Cameroon, West Africa from 2013-2015, where she taught secondary school science, and trained host country nationals in public health, and sustainable agriculture initiatives.
Omoniyi Adekanmbi is a Maryland native who returned to the area in 2010. Her passion for the outdoors developed during the covid-19 pandemic when she took to weekly hikes to exercise and get outdoors during the lockdown. During this time, she also took up camping and kayaking and soon expanded to other outdoor activities, including completing Soul Trak’s Fall 2021 Outdoor Climbing course and her first adventure race. Omoniyi’s experience in the outdoors has led to a passion for promoting diversity in the outdoors and environmental stewardship. She is excited for the opportunity to engage with peers with a similar passion through the 2022 Environmental Leadership Cohort and to build the skills and knowledge for long-term leadership in environmental sustainability and outdoor recreation.
Omoniyi earned a Bachelor of Science from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. She also received a Master of Science from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and a Master of Public Policy from The George Washington University in Washington D.C.
Rochelle Coleman is an Associate Director at Arabella Advisors and manages a portfolio of nonprofit projects to ensure the operational success of their programmatic goals. Before joining the Arabella team, Rochelle worked at PeacePlayers International, a sports-based youth development peacebuilding organization as the Director of Global Programs. In this role, she provided leadership and oversight to global program initiatives and cultivated an atmosphere of collaboration and accountability across five program sites in South Africa, Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Cyprus, and the United States. Her other experience at PeacePlayers included supporting expansion into the United States, building and managing three of the five cities: Baltimore, MD, Chicago, IL, and Los Angles, CA. Before PeacePlayers she was the owner of RAC Basketball, a training company conducting camps, clinics, and individual training in the Washington, DC area. Rochelle earned a B.A. in history at Syracuse University and an M.S. in sport management at Slippery Rock University."
Environmental Leadership Cohort
The Environmental Leadership Cohort (ELC) will be comprised of leaders from the greater DC Metro area, representing a wide variety of environmental interests and a diverse range of personal and professional backgrounds. This cohort will actively serve a 12-month commitment within the program from January to December 2024, focusing on stewardship initiatives, community organizing, and leadership development. Additional programming will include workshops on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, professional development, and grassroots activism with the end goal of delivering tangible community and environmental impact.
Program Highlights and Responsibilities
Each ELC fellow will:
· Facilitate various outdoor adventures: day and overnight trips including hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, biking, camping, service trips, etc.
· Participate in training workshops aimed at enhancing various outdoor technical skills and environmental knowledge
· Develop individual blog content for cohort series
· Produce vlog and social media content on outings
· Individually and/or with other fellows, facilitate social sustainability projects for communities of color
· Collectively conceive and execute two large initiatives across the program in which each fellow engages external BIPOC community members in achieving larger sustainability goals
· Develop and demonstrate social and environmental leadership skills over the course of the program
· Mentor Soul Trak youth and college volunteers/participants
Benefits for Participants
· Learn or deepen skills in rock climbing, paddling, camping, outdoor cooking, trail maintenance, water cleaning, invasive species, and plant life training, social sustainability, and urban gardening
· Ability to earn certification in First Aid/CPR, Belay, Leave No Trace, and Single Pitch Instructor, among other areas
· Expert-led professional development and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training sessions
· Develop a broader network of BIPOC peers and mentees in the DC Metro community
. Group facilitation experience in an environmental context.
Ideal ELC Fellows Will Have:
· Completion of undergraduate degree and/or equivalent professional experience or outdoor expertise
· Comfortable pursuing hands-on service and recreational initiatives in year-round weather.
· Ability to commit to 2 meetings a month across a 12-month period (Wednesday and Saturday meetings with some overnight commitments)
· Strong cultural competency and ability to work in diverse groups, with a commitment to social justice, equity, and inclusion
· Demonstrated engagement in the community or outdoor initiatives, ideally involving equity and access initiatives
· Comfortable planning and facilitating outdoor activities for community members
· Some familiarity or mastery of outdoor fitness activities or environmental sustainability strategies preferred
Application Deadline is Dec 16th at 11:55pm