A Tree Grows in Brookland

by Meghan Adams, Class of 2017

meghan-adams-1This January marks the 1 year anniversary of my time working at local Urban Forestry non-profit, Casey Trees. When my time ends there in May, I will have assisted in planning three events for over 1,300 constituents, all alongside fellow CUA Media and Communication Studies alumni turned mentor and friend, Italia Peretti.

Working for a hyper local non-profit is so special because you can see your efforts everywhere, even in unsuspecting places. There have been so many times I have been driving or walking in the city and I see a group of trees we have planted…even my friends will excitedly send me a picture of a tree they happen upon which bears our logo!  casey-trees-logo

The classes hosted by Casey Trees have turned me into a much more informed citizen as well. As a certified Tree Advocate, I have learned about specific tree protection laws and regulations, proper construction protection for trees, and how to report any violations that I come across in D.C.

Interning under a CUA alumni also brings about additional benefits. Italia has been a crucial role model in my life, giving me advice on everything from my Senior Thesis topic to Comprehensive Exams, and which classes have been most beneficial to her career.

Italia Peretti, B.A. 2015 and Meghan Adams

The most rewarding part of my internship experience at Casey Trees is that it hasn’t felt like an internship. It is the type of place where you voluntarily come in to attend classes or volunteer at other events just because you love the people and the mission. Many of my responsibilities are the same as that of a full-time employee and they have given me opportunities to grow and find my strengths. I have also had the unique opportunity to assist with the interviewing and hiring process of multiple new team members, which has given me such indispensable knowledge for when I begin applying and interviewing for full-time jobs in the very near future.

Not only has working at Casey Trees given me the opportunity to connect with fellow residents across the District, but I’ve also been able to connect with the Brookland community. Per recommendation from Italia, I began running social media accounts for local restaurant Menomale and the owning families’ newly opened Italian market, Salumeria 2703, located a few doors down.

At CUA, we have our own dynamic campus community, and so it can be hard to see a need to connect with the other half of our neighborhood on the opposite side of the Metro tracks. During my 3 block walk to Casey Trees from my Brookland house, I’ve gotten to experience the friendship and camaraderie in the neighborhood – from the countless Little Free Libraries, to the immense support for new small businesses, and the way that everyone looks you in the eye and exchanges pleasantries as you walk by, something you do not experience when walking downtown. It has been extremely rewarding to take the skills I have learned in my major and use them to serve my local community.


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