Hi, my name is Payton Coleman and I am very excited to be a summer intern at Sustain Charlotte. I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, but currently reside in the lovely city of Charlotte, NC. I am currently a senior at Catawba College double majoring in political science and environment and sustainability with a concentration in sustainable planning and leadership. With this degree I hope to serve in the Peace Corps for a few years, and then attend law school and become an environmental lawyer.
From left: Kate Cavazza, Payton Coleman, and Michael Zytkow, at the 2018 Charlotte Sustainability Summit.
As an intern with Sustain Charlotte, I work to enhance and assist with the Bike Program. I create marketing strategies, research funding development methods, and volunteer at our biking and walking promotional events.
Through this experience I will be able to learn more about how to engage community members in sustainability practices, sustainable event planning in urban communities and the hard work that lies behind a sustainable advocating non-profit organization. I am also learning that the most important part of sustainability is the people. Engaging community members in their own backyard with activities and programs that not only conserve our environment, but also connect our communities is exactly what Sustain Charlotte does and has shown as very successful.
The most important advice I would give to other students wanting to engage their community is that “Communication is key.” By simply starting a conversation, or sharing sustainable tips with your neighbors or friends about the benefits of sustainable practices you can begin to create change in your community. People respond more to one on one communication than computer invitation, and this is the key to creating sustainable programs that truly make a difference in your community.