In honor of ACE’s 35th anniversary, we are launching a series of blog posts under the umbrella of “Celebrating 35 Years with Your Stories,” written by members of the Arlington community about their experiences with ACE. If you are a friend of ACE with a story to share, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch! In the meantime, please enjoy our first installment …

Celebrating 35 Years with Your Stories: Former Intern Peter Costolanski

Peter CostolanskiMy name is Peter. I interned at ACE in the spring of 2007 as I was finishing an MBA at George Washington University. As an intern, I helped set up and manage volunteer events such as stream cleanups and tree plantings.’  I particularly enjoyed the cleanups and plantings … getting my hands dirty, seeing the committed ACE volunteers, and seeing the final result: bags of trash collected, clean stream banks, and newly planted trees.

I also helped find exhibitors for the 2007 Green Living Expo, handed out eco-friendly household cleaning supplies at Whole Foods, helped with the Green Living campaign, and generally tried to be useful on the days that I went into the office. After I finished my internship I continued to work with ACE as a member of’  the ACE reusable bag committee.

My time at ACE was my introduction to community-level environmental activities and it provided me with insight into what is might be like to work at a small nonprofit. The experience was particularly useful at my next job at a national association of similar community-level environmental organizations where I stayed for four years. From there I went to Ethiopia for a year, where I worked on an impact evaluation of compact fluorescent light bulbs and co-authored a paper on climate change. Today, I’m back in northern Virginia and looking forward to being involved once again with ACE.

What’s your connection with ACE? Tell us about it and you may be featured here!