This August, we added a new member to our Youth Education team. Meet Geneva Mayall. She was born and raised in Central Oregon and graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and Biology. Geneva has worked with kids in a variety of scopes including teaching science labs, leading a walking school bus program, and leading backpacking trips at a camp. Geneva will be our Water Education program lead and a sustainability educator for the EarthSmart program. Geneva has been at The Environmental Center a little over a month and has already shared her lively and entertaining spirit with us. We asked her a few “get to know you” questions, and hope you enjoy learning a bit more about her!
What excites you about working for TEC?
This is an organization that embodies the original small-town Bend that I grew up in. It has a strong sense of community and that gets portrayed into the larger Bend community through events and outreach programs. I have fond memories of dressing up for the Earth Day Parade as a kid and taking pictures with the puppets. Three years ago when I moved back to Bend from my undergrad program, I told myself, “I’m going to work here someday.” Fast forward three years to working at TEC and being welcome with open arms. It’s a family. We care for our home and we care for each other, and I love that.
As a new educator in the classroom, what is something you hope to inspire students to learn or do?
Being new to teaching in a classroom setting allows me the freedom of adaptability. I come in with no preconceived ideas of the “right way” to teach. I’m trying to pull from my experience as a student and use techniques that I found helpful. I never did well with sitting still or staring at a PowerPoint, so my goal is to get these kids moving and actively learning through experiences and self-discovery. I hope to inspire students to ask questions, and then ask more questions about those questions!
Have you learned anything from a student yet?’
I love to have students guess how old I am when I introduce myself, and I heard a range from sixteen to sixty-seven. I’ll let you all keep guessing.
What do students call you?
As a new staff member at TEC, what is something you would like to share with others about the organization?
If you are looking to get involved in the community, TEC is a great hub for resources. I got started at TEC through my history volunteering with them. The people that work here know so much about their field and everyone has a plethora of community connections. Even if you don’t have time to volunteer but have a question about sustainability, career opportunities, or even gardening, we can steer you in the right direction. We are always excited to make new connections. Come on in and say hi!
What do you like to do in your free time?
When I’m not in the office or teaching, I am outside. I’m an avid mountain biker, trail runner (I just ran the Three Fingered Jack loop for the first time!) and as soon as the snow falls I’m up in the mountains backcountry skiing. My dream would be to start an after school program to take girls out to go running and mountain biking.
We hope you all get the pleasure to meet Geneva soon!