What is the one thing that every college student worries about?
Everything! But, more specifically, they’re worried about getting a job after graduation and the who, what, when, where, and why of it all. Being a young adult is overwhelming enough, trust me, we can use all the help and advice we can get. I recently helped plan and participated in an event that I think made a big difference for students – and you can do it too.
I am Jolisa Copeman, a 23-year-old from Middletown, Delaware. Recently I was crowned Miss Delaware USA 2019 and I am dedicating my year to bringing awareness of horticulture. My passion for the environment and horticulture started at a young age, as I was raised in the Poconos. I was constantly interacting with nature growing up. As I grew older I began to recognize the gap between the environment, inner city spaces, and children. My goal is to show kids how cool horticulture is. I believe children should have the opportunity to learn about the importance of plants, how impactful they are to physical health, and all of the awesome job opportunities available within horticulture. Youth are our future.
On July 16, 2018, it was my honor to accept Greenhouse Grower magazine’s Gamechanger of the Year Award on behalf of the Seed Your Future movement. Joining me on stage were three of our talented volunteers who also happen to have been born between the years of 1981 and 2000. Why the vagueness about their ages when you know they are of a generation that many tag as a name ending in “…ials”? It’s because, frankly, I am tired of the labeling of generations as being one thing or another. There are great traits and not so great traits across all ages and people. Let’s just stop it. Let’s never again use the terms that label generations – I’m not even going to use them here.
Abundant research studies are clear – green spaces, pleasing landscapes, and plants in an otherwise concrete-jungle can reduce crime, support positive physical and mental health, and build strong communities.
As Executive Director of Seed Your Future, it’s been my privilege to share our research findings with groups across the county who are concerned that there are not enough people pursuing careers in “horticulture.” Across the green-collar industry, employers, colleges and universities, gardening groups, certification and training programs, and public gardens all stuggle with what they have identified as a decades-long decline in interest in the world of “horticulture.”
Welcome to our inaugural Seed Your Future BLOG. In March 2016, we announced the launch of Seed Your Future, and shared our vision to promote horticulture and encourage more people to pursue careers working with plants. Since then, we’ve been conducting research, developing plans of action, and partnering with hundreds of organizations – all to bring us to today.