Laurel Watkins

Program Officer of Roots & Shoots

“Knowing the lasting impact Roots & Shoots has had on me, my hope is to provide as many people as possible with whatever resources they need to move through life feeling empowered.”

Location: Vienna,Virginia

Roots & Shoots History: Joined the Roots & Shoots program in the third grade

Position Title: Program Officer of Roots & Shoots

I look at my responsibilities at JGI in two categories: how I help my team reach our goals and how I help our members feel included and successful.  I help manage our programmatic needs and provide resources to our existing and new members. As a young person, being involved in Roots & Shoots was the first time my ideas were taken seriously by “adults.” As I continued to grow, I saw more clearly the value of the skills I had developed through the program and, more importantly, I began to understand that not all young people felt empowered, as I did. Having the opportunity to pay forward all that the Roots & Shoots program has given me has been a genuine honor.  Providing support to the people and program that helped shape me has meant a great deal, however, I am most proud of the young people I have been able to reach.

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