November 14, 2018
Jaret Gonzalez ’19 of the Bronx, N.Y., recently served an internship as a co-educator for Manice Education Center in nearby Florida, Mass. Created for New York City youth, this summer experience serves students in grades six through 12. “The best thing about this organization is the exposure to nature and support provided to children who are often overlooked or not yet empowered,” he said.
Part of Christodora, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, Manice serves students of all backgrounds, especially those who live in high-need communities. “Students are taught a curriculum of environmental education, outdoor leadership, and wilderness skills,” explained Gonzalez (pictured at right, on the right).
An environmental studies major who minors in biology, Gonzalez taught lessons on limnology (the study of inland aquatic ecosystems), macroinvertebrates (such as insects, snails, and worms), ecological succession, leadership, swimming, and composting and soil testing. In addition, he served as a lifeguard and instructed students in backcountry skills during five-day-long backpacking and canoeing trips.
“This allowed me to explore the Berkshires and observe natural phenomena discussed in class/lab settings,” Gonzalez said. “I was also able to work with graduates and professionals from various disciplines, and learn about classroom management in the backcountry and more about the landscape I’ve been calling home for three years!”
Ever since his first year at MCLA, Gonzales has wanted to support nature and serve his community through wildlife conservation.
“However, after having a taste of environmental education I have grown a deep appreciation for it. I want to be someone that facilitates the exposure between people and nature in a positive and healthy way,” he said. “As a city kid, I always yearned for a beautiful landscape to live in with abundant wildlife. I want to preserve the Earth for future generations.”