Jenna Cobb (she/her)Program Manager, Community Nature Connection
- 30 Under 30
Jenna is passionate about facilitating spaces for people of faith and youth to cultivate relationships with nature and seek community transformation together.
United States, Age 29
How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? Tell us about your EE work and impact.
I am using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities by facilitating spaces for people of faith and youth to cultivate relationships with nature and seek community transformation. As an outdoor educator, I have worked with over 45,000 students at local parks, public gardens, schoolyards, and local creeks and concrete channels, resulting in students developing a connection to our local water and ecosystems and taking action to protect them. I also believe connecting spirituality and environmental education can strengthen our collective efforts to face climate change and other major environmental issues. I am one of the founders and co-moderators of the Spirituality & EE eePRO Group. As a BIPOC Faithful Climate Action Fellow with Creation Justice Ministries, I developed a climate change lesson that can be used for faith communities’ youth groups with students ranging from 6th–12th grade. When I was a youth pastor, I actively sought to facilitate more outdoor learning and service experiences for my youth group. I now use all of these experiences to inform my contributions to eePRO and to influence my faith communities and the EE field, with an emphasis on facilitating and advocating for communities to take environmental action together.
Tell us about your journey to where you are today. What inspired you? What has your path been like?
As a biracial Indonesian-American woman who has lived in Los Angeles County my whole life, I have often found myself being a bridge. Whether it’s advocating for organizational equity at my workplace or connecting youth to the outdoors, I take pride in creating spaces of belonging and inclusion where communities can take environmental action together. Being a part of Audubon’s youth programming and spending time in nature with my family instilled in me the importance of connecting to nature from an early age. After my time as a former youth pastor in Pomona and educator at Chino Basin Water Conservation District, I am specifically passionate about the connections between spirituality & EE as well as youth environmental leadership development. Currently, I serve as the Youth Leadership Series program manager at Community Nature Connection, where I develop and lead youth naturalist and alumni programs. In my spare time, I help to facilitate my church’s engagement with environmental justice issues. I’m excited about my path ahead, and I know it will include cultivating connections with spirituality, youth, and the outdoors.
A Little More About Me
What (or who) keeps you hopeful for the future?
Seeing so many people, particularly BIPOC youth and young adults, fight for our future gives me hope. As a person of faith, I believe the divine is working with us to bring wholeness to our communities, and being a part of the climate and environmental justice movements reminds me that I’m not alone in this work.
What makes you most excited to be an EE30U30 awardee?
With my passions for developing youth environmental leadership and connecting spirituality and EE, I am excited about the ways being a part of this community will allow me to connect with and learn from the expansive EE 30 Under 30 network. As part of NAAEE’s CEE-Change Fellowship and Spirituality & EE eePRO Group, I have been able to start conversations about developing collaborations such as a network for youth taking environmental action or a Youth of Faith environmental summit; I believe being a part of the EE 30 Under 30 community can help move those conversations into action.
How do you recharge?
Taking walks around my neighborhood rejuvenates and recharges me!
What song or artist has uplifted you lately?
"Honey Body" by Kishi Bashi.