by Rachel Jaffe

In March 2010, Bethesda Green hosted its inaugural “Fields of Green” Internship Fair to promote green jobs throughout the region.  Among the 35 organizations recruiting interns at the event was the Maryland Energy and Sustainability Co-op (MESC), led by its “Energetic Director” Mike Kennedy, one of the companies in the Bethesda Green Business Incubator.

At the event, Kennedy found four of the five interns working with him this summer.  These interns stand as a reminder of how one successful program can in turn promote other successes.  All of the interns are working for him, not because of the excellent pay (in the form of gumballs and pizza), but the opportunity to simultaneously help themselves gain experience in the workforce and add their voices to the growing movement of awareness about humanity’s impact on the environment.

Miranda Hitchcock, Nick Booth, Claire Lafave, Mike Kennedy, and Julia Chartove (L-R) from the Maryland Energy and Sustainability Co-op

The interns are helping grow MESC, to create a “template for getting green goods and services from pre-qualified businesses into the hands of consumers” as Kennedy puts it.  Yet, though the interns are crafting the bridge between the technology and the people, the vision and the implementation, a relaxed feeling pervades the office.  Julia Chartove, a student at Swarthmore University, loves her ability to “set your own direction,” which she has used to expand her ability to design websites off of a platform.  Claire Lafave, loves the cooperative spirit in the organization and the chance it gave her to extend her skills as an English major at Williams into writing advertisements and grants. Nick Booth, a junior at Wisconsin, marvels at how in a few months “other people’s passion” for environmental stewardship morphed into a cause that he too cared about.

MESC stands as a shining example of the success both of Kennedy’s ability to balance the freedom to explore one’s individual interests and getting down to business, as well as Bethesda Green’s desire to constantly be bringing more people into the environmental community.  To help us continue our success past the summer months, come to one of our First Thursday Happy Hours or the upcoming October 7 Gala.

Rachel Jaffe is a Bethesda Green intern and a student at Stony Brook University.