Last year, Utsa Parikh, a newcomer to El Segundo and the South Bay, was looking for volunteer opportunities. She discovered Tree Musketeers, an El Segundo-based national nonprofit that offers young people the opportunity to take the lead in implementing environmental programs.
She volunteered at a few tree care events, watering, mulching, pruning and weeding trees in the community,then learned about the organization’s leadership classes, called LEAD. The Youth Manager Series, Public Speaking and Youth Planting Supervisor courses give volunteers ages 10-17 the chance to learn leadership skills that will serve them at school and beyond.
Parikh attended classes during the summer, learning people, personal and management skills. At the graduation day for her Public Speaking class, held at El Segundo City Hall, she even delivered a speech about her approach to climate change.
“It was a fun and worthwhile thing to do over the summer and a great way to learn simple, small things I can use to make a great first impression on people,” Parikh says.
Last fall, Parikh was invited to join Tree Musketeers’ Youth Management team, where she is now in charge – along with nine other youth managers – of running the day-to-day activities of the organization. “Now that I have joined the team, I get many great opportunities to volunteer every week,” says Parikh. “Doing this gives me a great sense of accomplishment.”
The next session of LEAD classes kicks off with the Youth Manager Series July 7 and the Public Speaking class July 28. Classes are held at 4 p.m. weekdays at the Tree Musketeers Leadership Center, 305 Richmond Street, El Segundo. Classes cost $35-$100, with significant discounts for those who join the organization’s Partners For the Planet network.
Learn more by visiting Tree Musketeers online or by calling 310-322-0263.