We can not allow this environmental movement to be shaped only by the same people who started it years ago.Angelou Ezeilo
Angelou Ezeilo, Founder & CEO of the Greening Youth Foundation, shared the story behind her title with us on Sunday, December 13, 2020.
The Greening Youth Foundation’s (GYF) mission is to engage under-represented youth and young adults, while connecting them to the outdoors and careers in conservation. GYF’s cultural based environmental education programing engages children from local communities and exposes them to healthy lifestyle choices in order to create an overall healthy community.
Angelou’s love for the environment stretches far back to when she was a little girl who had the chance to escape the dense urban streets of Jersey City, New Jersey, to summer in upstate New York.
After a brief stint of practicing law, it was through her work as a Legal Specialist for the New Jersey State Agriculture and Development Committee that Angelou embarked upon a career as an environmentalist.
Angelou further honed her skills as a Project Manager for the Trust for Public Land (TPL) in both its New Jersey and Georgia offices. In her position, Angelou acquired land for preservation and worked on the New York/New Jersey Highlands Program, Parks for People-Newark, the New York/New Jersey Harbor Program in New Jersey, the Atlanta Beltline and the 20 County Regional Greenspace Initiative in Georgia. While at TPL, Angelou realized the disconnect between the land that was being preserved and the education of people about that preservation—particularly as it related to our next generation. This was the impetus for the Greening Youth Foundation. Under her leadership the Foundation has taken up the charge of providing environmental access to underserved children and young adults through its Public School Initiative and Youth Conservation Corps programs. Greening Youth Foundation provides its services throughout the country and in Ghana, West Africa.
This episode also features an exciting update on our previous guest Mary Cantando! Learn all about what she’s been up to since our interview with her.
Angelou fell in love with nature as a young girl running around the woods of upstate NY on family vacations. What she realized early on was the power that nature had to bring life and happiness to all those who ventured into it. Now she is on a mission to bring this awareness to people of color who typically do not have the opportunity to learn that conservation can be a career path.