Noah is someone who feels that consumerism is a culture created by humanity, and that we find ourselves caught in the currents of advertising and popularity. So for his internship Noah will be looking at how to make sure we are conscious of our consumption and its effects on the environment.

In the first several months, he will produce a written document detailing his ideas around simple living. He will put these principles in action to simplify his own life. Then, for the next few months, he will reach out to the community around him and use the writing he has generated to inspire others to simplify their lives. Finally, in fall 2014, he will lead a workshop about consumerism at the EcoFaith Youth Project, a camping trip created by past EcoFaith Intern Nathan Holst.

From Portland, Oregon, Noah is currently attending Cleveland High School and is a senior. He is a member of Central Lutheran Church and attends Sunday service regularly, a ritual he considers important and influential. Some of his past leadership experiences include his Eagle Scout project and his participation as an Amigos de las Americas volunteer.

Noah has been a member of Boy Scout Troop 351 since 2007, and in May 2013 finished his Eagle Scout project. In order to receive the rank of Eagle Scout (the most prestigious in Scouting), all candidates must create and direct a service project. With a small group of fellow Troop 351 Scouts, Noah built two bookshelves for the North Portland homeless camp Dignity Village. The project needed to be vetted by the Troop committee and signed off on by multiple Scouting officials before work could begin. Noah also had to write letters to companies to secure donations of wood and stain. Having to jump through these hoops taught him about how patience and perseverance is required to be successful in a project. From conception to completion, his project took about 5 months.

Then, in June of 2013, he embarked on a 6-week service learning trip to Nicaragua as a volunteer for the non-profit organization Amigos de las Americas. While there, he lived with a host family in a community of 750 people and spoke Spanish. With the local youth group and his two partners, he built a small fruit and vegetable market to benefit the community. The project was chosen by the Nicaraguan youth. In addition, his partners and he held after-school activities for children 14 and younger every weekday for two hours. The activities included short lessons on topics such as women’s rights, as well as games. It was a transformational experience for him that taught him a lot about family relationships and service.

Noah looks forward to applying these experiences to his internship and continuing to learn about how to be a solid leader. He also looks forward to taking the lessons he learns through his internship to college and beyond.

 Blog posts by Noah:

The case for getting rid of your smartphone By Noah Gerlach– August 25, 2014

Simplicity Workshop Reflection – Noah Gerlach – August 23, 2014

Out With the Artificial, In With the Natural (EcoFaith Intern Noah Gerlach) – July 17, 2014

The Responsibility for Simplicity (By EcoFaith Intern Noah Gerlach) – May 6, 2014

The Culture of Stuff (by EcoFaith Intern Noah Gerlach)– Feb 27, 2014


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