Alumni Spotlight: Ethan Viets-Vanlear

We are now accepting applications to participate in our 2013 Summer of Solutions programs!  Apply here!

My name is Ethan Viets-Vanlear, I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois where I am currently a student, activist, poet, and organizer. I started Summer of Solutions in the summer of 2012 through Let’s Go Chicago.

My initial motive for joining SoS was to spend more of my time outside building tangible solutions to some of the issues I noticed around me. I was also excited to spend my time growing food.  I think the biggest thing that I got from SoS was the notion that any problem has a solution that I can take part into making happen.  SoS really taught me a way to help a community without being part of various systems of oppression and control that dominate most organizations and institutions in our society. My favorite memories from SoS would have to be our various trips offsite to places like a farm, or spending time with all the participants around a campfire. 1

Some of last year’s Chicago team

Right now I am finishing high school, attending open mics and various other art events in the city, and working on planning SoS Chicago 2013.  I’m also working for the Know Your Rights project where we give workshops to students on how to navigate interactions with the police, with Circles and Ciphers, a youth restorative justice leadership development group, I’m participating on the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, and I have a small internship at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Chicago.

2Summer of Solutions helped me really start to think deeply about how I want to function and work as a member of this society. This insight has helped me choose the paths and work I know will help me reach the goal of living my life while building harmony in myself, the people around me, and my community.

If you have decided to apply to Summer of Solutions 2013, I would congratulate you about joining a great organization, and planning a fun, informative, beautiful summer.

– Ethan

Calling all Solutionaries!  The National Participant Application for all Summer of Solutions programs is now open!

During the Summer of Solutions, you will receive training in community organizing and sustainable community development techniques. You will use these skills to demonstrate the promise of energy efficiency, community-based energy, green industry, local food production, and/or smart design as described in the locations you choose. Beyond the concrete skills you learn, Summer of Solutions will be a really fun community-based experience. It is a great chance to grow with, learn from, and work with other incredible young people and community leaders who are building a better future.

Not sure if you should apply?  Follow our new blog series, Alumni Spotlights, to hear from past Summer of Solutions participants about how their experience changed their life and prepared them for a life of solutionary work!

Now accepting participant applications: Arleta, CA; Chicago, IL; Hartford, CT; Iowa City, IA; Ithaca, NY; Johnson City, TN; Lexington, KY; Little Rock, AR; Middleton, WI; Oakland, CA; Raleigh, NC; Southern West Virginia; Twin Cities, MN; and Washington, DC!

Applications for the final round are due on 4/14/2013. Some programs may keep their local applications open beyond 4/14, but there is no guarantee that any specific program will do so.

Find more details and the online application here!

One thought on “Alumni Spotlight: Ethan Viets-Vanlear

  1. Pingback: Inspiration to Join Summer of Solutions 2013 by April 14th! | Solutionaries

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