Lisbeth Shepherd, White House Jobs+ Champion of Change


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lisbeth Shepherd Named White House Jobs+ Champion of Change

BROOKLYN, NY – Lisbeth Shepherd, Executive Director and Founder of Green City Force, has been named a Youth Jobs+ Champion of Change and will be recognized at a ceremony at the White House today, September 26th.

Yesterday, the White House announced that they will highlight five individuals, four youth, and their organizations that played a key role in the White House’s Youth Jobs+ program as “Champions of Change.” President Obama issued the Youth Jobs+ challenge to encourage elected officials along with businesses, nonprofits, and community leaders to create pathways to employment for young people. The Champions of Change program, in turn, recognizes individuals, businesses, and organizations “doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their community.”

Ms. Shepherd and Green City Force are the only recipients this week from New York. Ms. Shepherd will be joined at the event by New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John Rhea, Center for Economic Opportunity Executive Director Kristin Morse, and two graduates, Dejon Barnes, employee of Community Environmental Center for over 2 years, and Derrika Cruickshank, recent graduate, employed as a Compost Associate at Lower East Side Ecology Center and at the Sylvia Center.

Founded in 2009, Green City Force is dedicated to building a model Clean Energy Corps as a pathway to family-supporting careers, while supporting city climate action goals.  We believe in the boundless potential of young adults and that young adults from low-income communities of color have a critical role to play in building an inclusive green economy, as workers and leaders. Clean Energy Corps Members serve full-time for 6 months in teams on cutting-edge environmental campaigns that build skills relevant to in-demand jobs in sustainability.

Fellow Echoing Green Fellow, Donnel Baird, BlocPower founder and employer of Green City Force graduates, nominated Ms. Shepherd for the award. “This is a tremendous validation of Green City Force graduates, Corps Members, staff, and partners working to create opportunity for young people to get on a path toward family-supporting careers,” said Ms. Shepherd.

Green City Force is a member of The Corps Network and grantee of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service. Partners include Community Environmental Center, Added Value, and the New York City Housing Authority, and funders include the Blue Ridge Foundation New York, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Heckscher Foundation for Children, Robin Hood Foundation, Arbor Brothers, Barclays, and Alcoa Foundation.

Ms. Cruickshank said:

“My choice to join Green City Force was one of the best decisions I have made. My path before GCF seemed unsure and rocky, but now I am on the smooth highway to success with a plethora of opportunities. I did not think I would have the motivation to go out and get a job or further my education but now it isn’t just a dream, it is a reality. I have learned how important work ethic, reliability, team work and professionalism are to getting where you want to be and have gained more life and work experience in 6 months than I received in the  years before I joined GCF. Most importantly, I have built a wonderful community of business colleagues and lifetime friends that will stay with me forever.”

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