Becoming a Young Urban Forest Leader (YUFL) proved to be a formative experience for Natalie Secen. She joined the YUFL program with an interest in urban forestry and now, four years later, has a fulfilling career working for a private tree care company. How did this all happen? Natalie shares with us how joining the YUFLs helped root her career in urban forestry.
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For Lucy Szczesniak, her interest in the natural environment and urban forest set off a chain of rewarding professional, personal and spiritual developments in her life. Becoming a Young Urban Forest Leader (YUFL) gave her clarity in the next chapter of her life and connected her to a new network. Hoping to inspire others to join the YUFL program, she shares her experience and guiding principles.
Willow couldn’t have predicted the impact that participating in the Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) program would have on her life. Driven by her desire to learn more about the urban forest, she found herself developing skills through the program and emerged as a leader in her community. Now, she reflects on her experience and the opportunities ahead.
Being a young adult is a time of tremendous growth, both personally and professionally, as people move into “the real world.” Navigating this transition can be difficult, particularly for underrepresented individuals looking to enter a field dominated by other demographic groups. LEAF developed the Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) program to support underrepresented young folks who are at the beginning of their careers in urban forestry. Funded in part by the City of Toronto through an Urban Forestry Grant, this program sets participants up to be in the driver’s seat of their own career.
COVID-19 may have stopped us from meeting in-person, but it sparked new ways of connecting and engaging with each other. To celebrate National Tree Day on September 23, 2020, we hosted a free virtual tree tour of Lake Wilcox Park, located in Richmond Hill.