In 2012, Fernando Aguilar came to El Segundo looking for an opportunity to be a leader in the South Bay Community. He came across Tree Musketeers, and after seeing that young people were in leadership positions here, implementing environmental programs, he decided he wanted to get involved. After volunteering at a few tree care events Fernando discovered our LEAD Courses (Leadership Education and Action Development) – including the Youth Manager Series, Public Speaking and Youth Planting Supervisor classes – and enrolled.
During the LEAD Courses Fernando learned people, personal and management skills. He then participated in the Public Speaking class, taught by Toastmaster International member and long time Tree Musketeers Adult Partner Catherine Magruder. He even delivered an inspiring speech on the loss of gorilla habitat in the wild and what we can do to help during the Annual LEAD Graduation Ceremony.
“Tree Musketeers’ LEAD courses gave me the confidence to speak to people about anything, whether it be politics or business. To give a speech in front of City Council is a feeling that will really stick with you.”
It turns out that Fernando has had quite the busy schedule during his time with us. He has been involved in Kiwin’s since 2008 and Boy Scouts since he was 13-years-old. Once he completed his LEAD courses, he was invited to join our Youth Management Team in Fall of 2014 and is now in charge of running the day-to-day activities of the organization along with five other Youth Managers.
“Being a Youth Manager has given me a chance to lead people, big, small and of all ages,” he adds.
Last year Fernando decided to apply to be an Alcoa Scholar at NatureBridge, a program that fosters within it’s participants a sense of place, interconnections and stewardship in nature. We were ecstatic to learn that out of thousands of applicants, Fernando was one of only a hundred accepted Scholars for the Summer 2016 Program. He spent the majority of his time in the program in Shenandoah National Park and below are a couple moments from his trip.
LEAD Courses have commenced for the summer and we are looking forward to seeing what future graduates will accomplish. Want to attend our LEAD speech contest and graduation on August 15th? Check out our calendar for more info.