By Canopy Team on August 15, 2016
Miguel Berumen is a Canopy volunteer and former Teen Urban Forester (TUF). We caught up with him over the summer and asked him to reflect on his time with Canopy.
I first started volunteering at Canopy as part of my community service project at Eastside College Prep. I chose to volunteer at Canopy because my dad is a certified arborist at a tree service company, S.P. McClenahan, and I thought it would be interesting and fun to do tree work like him (although on a smaller scale).
After volunteering for about a year, I applied for the Teen Urban Forester (TUF) summer/academic year position and was hired because I’d been a part of Canopy for a while and already knew the basics of tree care.
As a volunteer I mulched, watered, and planted small trees. I also installed stakes to keep the trees upright and provide them with some protection.
As an intern, I started to lead volunteer events. During tree plantings, I would lead or co-lead groups of community members, teaching them proper tree-planting technique. A perk of being an intern was that we were trained and qualified to prune the trees that we were planting or planted in the past.
While volunteering at Canopy was part of my high school project, I almost always brought my dad and brother to help on Saturdays. Sometimes I even brought my cousins if they were available. After I graduated high school, my brother, Dylan, took over as the regular teen volunteer from my family (the Berumen family), and then as a TUF intern like I did!
I learned a lot from volunteering and interning at Canopy. I learned basic tree care, such as pruning and the proper way to plant trees. I learned to work in a non-academic team with my fellow volunteers and interns. I also developed my leadership and communication skills from leading tree plantings and other volunteer events.
Overall, I had lots of fun with my friends and family learning about tree care together. Interning and volunteering at Canopy gave me the skills and knowledge that would help me land my university job and first summer internship at a tech company.