It’s who you know: PLT Canada’s Green Mentor program helps youth transition to the Green Jobs sector

June 17, 2021

Photo of Ryan in a forest, holding a tablet

By Ryan Brady

We’ve all heard, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

However, building connections in your prospective field can be much easier said than done. And transitioning from a full-time student to a professional in the workforce is a daunting experience. Fortunately, having the right support can make all the difference.

As a Master of Environmental Studies student at Wilfrid Laurier University, I was eager to join Project Learning Tree Canada’s (PLT Canada) Green Mentor Program. I saw it as an opportunity to learn more about job opportunities in the green sector because I’m approaching the end of my time in academia. The classroom gives students the knowledge they need to succeed in a professional setting, but they may be left unsure about how to effectively transition from student to employee.

Building a professional network is a great way to begin exploring career opportunities within the green sector. More specifically, developing meaningful connections with individuals who have extensive experience can be an incredibly effective way to build confidence, increase employability, and set realistic short- and long-term career goals.

PLT Canada’s Green Mentor program connects individuals with Green Jobs professionals, using an industry-leading algorithm that creates successful mentorship matches based on personalities, goals, interests and more. Registration for the next mentorship cohort (September 2021) opens June 14.

Martin Litchfield PhotoMy mentor, Martin Litchfield, has nearly 50 years of  professional experience in the Green Jobs sector. As a Registered Professional Forester and an Environmental Management Systems Lead Auditor, he worked in both the forest sector and government and owned his own forest management and environmental auditing firm. Over the course of the program, I absorbed Martin’s wealth of knowledge through a series of bi-weekly conversations. I am so appreciative of the way he explained the ins and outs of working in the green sector. Our conversations gave me a much more comprehensive understanding of what Green Job employers are looking for in prospective candidates.

While I have been passionate about protecting the natural environment for many years, my time in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Environmental Studies program has narrowed my focus towards exploring a career path in conservation research. There is value in tackling environmental challenges through a social science lens, and I would love to find a job that focuses on the intertwined relationship between healthy environments and human health and well-being.
Ryan Photo

The knowledge I gained from PLT Canada’s Green Mentor program was a crucial step towards bridging the gap between being a student and being an employee in the Green Job sector.

With my new outlook on employment, I’m excited to begin exploring Green Job opportunities after graduation.

About PLT Canada’s Green Mentor program

PLT Canada’s six-month Green Mentor program involves meeting up (in person or virtually) two or three hours a month. The program plays a key role in supporting young professionals and guiding them along their career path in the forest sector. It’s also designed to help increase diversity, as mentorship can help youth overcome barriers and find employment success.

Mentees can expand their Green Jobs knowledge, goals, and network. Mentors can inspire the next generation of forest and conservation leaders, recruit employees, and gain new perspectives.

Apply for PLT Canada’s Green Mentor program here!


Trees & Me cover page, text that says "fun nature activities for ages 1-6," and three children wearing backpacks, crouching down, looking at papers on the ground

Project Learning Tree Canada Releases Environmental Education Resource – Trees & Me: Activities for Exploring Nature with Young Children

Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada) is thrilled to release a new environmental education resource today for families and teachers to connect young children ages 1–6 to nature, with a focus on trees. Trees & Me: Activities for Exploring Nature with Young Children offers hundreds of ideas for fun, indoor and outdoor, learning experiences perfect to celebrate Earth Day and beyond! Take toddlers and preschoolers on a nature journey, exploring the environment through their senses, experiencing trees throughout the seasons,…


The Impact of our choices - diverse perspectives in sustainable natural resource management

Charting Career Pathways in Forestry with PLT Canada’s Specialist High Skills Major Certification

By James Thordarson, Sr. Coordinator, Forest Education at PLT Canada While many in the sector know the diversity of forest-focused career opportunities available, it can be difficult to find age-appropriate and scientifically sound programs for students considering pursuing a green career pathway. To support youth in this path, Project Learning Tree (PLT) Canada offers a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) certification for high school students interested in pursuing a career in the forest sector. SHSM is an Ontario Ministry of Education approved program that gives…


Growing a resilient and diverse workforce

Growing a resilient and diverse workforce: PLT Canada’s 2023 Annual Report

We are thrilled to release our 2023 Annual Report—it was another busy year for Project Learning Tree Canada! We continued our work to provide a lifetime of learning through environmental education, forest literacy, and career pathways.   Since 2018, PLT Canada has supported over 7,600 Green Jobs, providing 50% of placements to women and 15% of our placements to Indigenous youth. We have also placed 1,900 young adults facing one or more barriers to employment, such as youth self-identifying as…


This Giving Tuesday Help PLT Canada Foster a Lifetime of Learning

Imagine what introducing one child to nature through Project Learning Tree Canada (PLT) can do. Imagine a little girl learned how forests improve water quality through a PLT activity. It sparked her curiosity and ignited a passion for the environment. Now she’s a water quality engineer, improving access to clean drinking water. All because of one teacher doing one activity with this one little girl. Now imagine the positive impacts 145 million students have made on our environment, thanks to…