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TREE MUSKETEERS has a rich tradition of sending its youth leaders out into the world via prestigious universities ranging from USC to NYU, Berkeley and Harvard. The winning college portfolio begins with LEAD courses. Adam Gerard, a nine-year veteran at the place where kids are boss, is headed to Yale this fall.
With graduation from Mira Costa High School approaching, responses to Adam’s college applications began arriving. Adam was accepted at 10 prestigious universities offering very generous scholarships. After much deliberation, he chose Yale.
Adam likes to begin his talks to help others navigate the college admissions process with who he is not. “I am not an athlete, student body president nor do I play a musical instrument.” Subscribers to some of the traditional wisdom about what gives kids a leg up with college admissions might view those as fatal errors.
Next Adam tells you who he is. “I am a good student with decent SAT scores and a supportive family that values education. Although important, none of that would have bumped me into the 6% admitted to the top tier universities amid a field of some 30,000 applicants for each institution annually.”
So what is Adam’s secret? It is TREE MUSKETEERS! Here’s his story.
As a fourth grader, Adam came with a youth group for a TREE MUSKETEERS tree care project. The girl managing the event inspired him to want to become a youth leader too. He called TREE MUSKETEERS the next day to see how to get involved. It was suggested that he continue volunteering on tree care days since he was just nine years old. When Adam insisted that he wanted to be a leader, the reply was that he would have to wait to be ten, the beginning age for the leadership programs. After much discussion and Adam’s demand to get started right away building his college resume with community service, he was allowed to enroll in the LEAD courses at TREE MUSKETEERS.
Adam was pretty small for his age and may have looked out of place in a class of mostly teenagers. It was, however, otherwise immediately apparent that this was the place for him.
He learned qualities and skills leaders need along with organizational strategy and project management in the Youth Manager series of courses. Adam found his voice in the Public Speaking course. In the end, he earned Certified Youth Manager and Toastmasters certificates, won the speech contest at graduation and was the youngest person ever elected to the Youth Management Team. Adam also trained to become a Youth Tree Planting Supervisor.
He was later elected to the board as a Youth Director where he has served six years alongside adults with equal authority. This year he is serving as President. Highlights of Adam’s tenure as part of the leadership team at TREE MUSKETEERS begin with completing the Trees to the Sea project to tree-line Imperial Highway. Others include:
• trips to Guaymas, MX to mentor our Sister City kids in tree planting and leadership,
• the launch of our Partners for the Planet 3×3 Campaign aimed at getting three million trees planted by three million kids worldwide. We are currently at about 1 million trees in 26 states and 13 countries on six continents.
• creating a native wildlife habitat below Clutter’s Bluff, to name just a few.
Adam has had the opportunity to travel to accept prestigious awards, keynote at national conferences and do a speaking tour of schools in South Korea. He has met with high-level officials and ended up interning for Congresswoman Jane Harman and Assemblymember Ted Lieu. His advocacy for TREE MUSKETEERS positioned him to be seated on the Manhattan Beach Mayor’s Green Team.
Adam is now busy mentoring the next generation of young executives to take the helm when he goes off to college in the fall. You can be part of the next generation of young executives that will pursue our mission to empower young people to be environmental leaders.
The summer Youth Manager Certification series runs from 11:00am – 12:30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday beginning July 1. Youth can choose to participate in one course or all three to earn a Certified Youth Manager certificate.
July 1-3 Personal Skills – teaches the art of personal presentation that is essential to effective leadership. Youth in the Personal Skills course will learn about body language, dressing for success, table manners and more!
July 8-10 People Skills – participants learn how to comfortably meet new people, telephone manners, email etiquette, group dynamics, team building, avoiding and getting out of conflict, and leadership.
July 15-17 Organizational Management – those in the classes will explore the basics of organizational development, project management and study the Tree Musketeers model of a place where kids are boss. Each course consists of three classes.
The eight-week Public Speaking course meets at 2:30-4:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday August 5-16. Kids who complete this course earn a Toastmasters certificate and the chance to participate in a speech contest at the graduation August 19 at 7:00pm!
Interested in taking one or all of the courses? There’s still room! Learn more and enroll on the LEAD page or call (310)322-0263.