Sustainability Matters is seeking two dynamic and motivated interns to join our team as Summer Program Educators for our Guardians of the Green program serving middle- and high-school students in Fairfax County, Virginia. The selected candidates will play a key role in the development and implementation of an 8-week environmental science summer program, focusing on educational enrichment and mentorship for participants, as well as additional girls-only mentoring sessions aimed at reducing the gender gap in the environmental sciences. This internship offers a unique opportunity for aspiring educators to gain hands-on experience in curriculum development, teaching, and mentorship within a dynamic and engaging environment. The internship will begin on June 10 and run through August 23.

Job Responsibilities

Curriculum Development:

  • Design, develop, and implement an engaging and age-appropriate curriculum for the 8-week summer program.

  • Create lesson plans, learning materials, and hands-on activities that align with program objectives and foster a positive learning experience.

  • Schedule mentoring sessions with women leaders in environmental science career fields.


  • Lead educational sessions, workshops, and activities for program participants, ensuring a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

  • Employ a variety of teaching methods to accommodate diverse learning styles and promote active participation.

Mentorship and Guidance:

  • Serve as a mentor and role model for program participants, fostering positive relationships and providing guidance on academic and personal development.

  • Conduct regular check-ins with participants to assess their progress, address concerns, and offer support as needed.

Documentation and Reporting:

  • Implement assessment strategies to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and make necessary adjustments.

  • Maintain accurate records of participant attendance, achievements, and any incidents that may arise.

  • Prepare regular progress reports and summaries for program coordinators.

Other Duties:

  • Demonstrate flexibility by assisting with additional program-related tasks and duties as assigned.

  • Adapt to the evolving needs of the program and contribute to a positive and collaborative work environment.

  • Attend team meetings and any required Sustainability Matters events throughout the duration of the internship.


This is a full-time position for the duration of the internship. Candidates must be available for all Guardians of the Green sessions and will be expected to attend other Sustainability Matters events deemed necessary, including on occasional weekends and weekday evenings. The internship will run from June 10 to August 23.


Although some days will be remote, this position will require extensive in-person work primarily in Fairfax County at local Community Centers. Applicants may also be asked to attend additional in-person events in Frederick, Fairfax, Rappahannock, and Shenandoah Counties.


  • Currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program, preferably in Environmental Science, Education, or a related field.

  • Passion for education, mentorship, and youth development.

  • Strong organizational skills.

  • Ability to communicate effectively with external partners.

  • Experience and ease working with students from diverse backgrounds.

  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively within a team.

  • Previous experience in curriculum development, teaching, or mentoring is a plus.


Sustainability Matters believes our people are our most important asset. We expect our staff to perform at the highest professional level, and we treat and compensate them accordingly. Interns will receive a $5,000 stipend for the duration of the summer.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and anything else you would like us to consider to with the subject line “Guardians of the Green Internship.”

About Sustainability Matters

Sustainability Matters cultivates community through conservation. We’re about people as much as about the planet, engaging non-traditional environmental audiences by bringing sustainability to unexpected places. We make sustainability fun, realistic, and inclusive of all. Since our founding in 2018, we have organized over 250 programs for more than 25,000 participants on topics including cultivating native ecosystems, alleviating hunger through backyard vegetable gardening, and reducing plastic waste. From our Shenandoah Valley roots, we have grown into Northern Virginia and the Piedmont, and we host webinars reaching audiences on six continents. Sustainability Matters has built a powerful model for cultivating environmental engagement and impact in challenging soil, across political and socioeconomic divides.

About the Guardians of the Green Program

In 2023, we partnered with Fairfax County’s Neighborhood and Community services to launch EcologiGALs. The EcologiGALs program immersed teen girls in the environmental sciences and launched them on environmental career paths through education, hands-on field work and research, mentorship by college conservation majors, and connections with female environmental leaders.

After a successful first year,  Sustainability Matters is expanding the EcologiGALs program to serve both girls and boys in 2024, and rebranding the program as “Guardians of the Green”. Throughout the 8-week program, middle- and high-school participants will receive training in climate issues, conservation ecology, the science of waste management, and much more at local Community Centers in Fairfax County. By hosting this program in students’ own backyards, participants gain a greater understanding and appreciation for conservation and ecology in their local communities.

Program Format

  • 8 week program, running from June 24 to Aug 16, 2024 (Internships run from June 10 – August 23)

  • Serving 2 Community Centers: Jim Scott and Hybla Valley

  • Each week will comprise two 2-hour visits to each teen center for in-person sessions (4 total sessions each week)

  • Some weeks may include field trips to local sites including our Making Trash Bloom Meadow at the I-66 transfer station, landfill tours, mentoring sessions, etc.