Roots & Wisdom, an urban organic gardening, youth and community development program of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Schenectady, New York, sparked Catherine Winters’ interest in the environment. The summers before her junior and senior years of high school, Catherine worked for Roots & Wisdom as a youth (teenage) worker where she got firsthand experience growing vegetables organically, working at farmers markets, teaching children about plants and health, and passing her knowledge to adults as well. The youth workers also participated in workshops each week on topics including community, diversity, food justice, sustainability, and local food. Last summer, Catherine joined the Roots & Wisdom family again as the special events crew leader, where she enjoyed working with visitors and helping the new youth have a great Roots & Wisdom experience too. She will be returning to Roots & Wisdom this summer as an intern so she can gain experience with other aspects of non-profit organizations. Catherine is currently an Environmental Chemistry major with a minor in Environmental Science and Policy at Hartwick College. She hopes to apply her hard science background from undergraduate studies to an interdisciplinary graduate school program that will prepare her for a career in Environmental Policy or teaching the public about sustainability.

“Most of the youth [at Roots and Wisdom] have never left the urban scene, but by the end of the summer, they love the outdoors.”

Catherine Winters on Greenhorn Radio