On November 14, Hispanic Access Foundation’s MANO Project interns and alumni traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with top-level members of federal land management agencies to discuss the impact of the MANO Project and provide substantive feedback and insight to the Department of Interior on youth programs. They also discussed the opportunities for growth of the MANO Project and other workforce programs focused on uplifting Black, Indigenous, Latino and other people of color.
“Even though Latinos are the fastest growing population, our nation’s workforce doesn’t currently represent all diverse populations,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “We hope meeting directly with DOI officials and showing them the amazing work our interns and alumni do on the ground will help expand programs like the MANO Project. These programs provide an opportunity for students from all backgrounds to gain valuable paid experience leading to a career in conservation.”
The core purpose of the MANO Project (My Access to Network Opportunities) is to connect, build and develop young leaders of color who share a passion for serving and strengthening their communities. We partner with the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to provide paid internships and fellowships to young professionals nationwide. For this fly-in, Hispanic Access recruited interns and alumni from each federal agency to represent the program and discuss their diverse experiences.
"Hispanic Access Foundation provided me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and engage in conversation with Secretary of Interior officials,” said Sharon Dorsey, MANO Project intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Hispanic Access’ encouragement to speak boldly about my experiences as a person of color navigating conservation-based internships with high-ranking agency officials was much appreciated, as I worked up the courage to advocate for greater permanent mid-level hiring opportunities for myself and my peers. I am grateful to the incomparable level of dedication and commitment Hispanic Access gives to their interns and program alumni!"
To learn more about the MANO Project program and to see available internship opportunities, visit https://manoproject.org.