JD Prater | Growth Marketer | San Francisco

discovering what's possible

I'm a seasoned growth marketer living in the San Francisco bay area. I'm quick on my feet and excel at digital strategies and storytelling.

Avalanche of Awesomeness in Colorado

I had one of the best days in the history of the workplace on Friday. It was one of those days where the stars aligned and everything fell into place. It seemed that nothing bad could happen – almost, I didn’t get the book I wanted from the library. These days make all of the difficult and challenging days worth it.

I started the day at a small, Catholic college-prep school in Denver. During the first presentation, a representative from a potential partner organization sat in to get a better understanding of what we do at ACE. After the presentation, she came up to me, without saying anything, and hugged me. It surprised me. I didn’t expect to be the recipient of such a genuine hug from a woman I had just met an hour before. She proceeded to thank me for all of the work that ACE is doing in Colorado, and said that she is going to nominate me/ACE for the environmental educator of the year award. This day could have stopped right there and I would have been really happy, but the snowball only got bigger.

Throughout the presentations, the students were very receptive and engaged. Their energy and enthusiasm was contagious as they asked thought provoking questions and offered practical solutions for their school. The teacher who brought ACE in told me that he saw us as being on the cusp of something truly great in Colorado. He continued to explain that he wants to be involved in making this movement a reality.

When teachers give that kind of feedback, I get fired up, because I know now that I have gained an ally who will stand with me.

The day continued as I returned home to attend the Us vs. Waste action team meeting. I barely made it five minutes into the meeting before I received a call from a teacher. This teacher’s school is in a mildly conservative area where climate change can be seen a controversial issue. After months of emailing back-and-forth with this teacher, the principal finally gave the green light.

I expected to present to the freshmen science classes of about 400+ students, but he told me that they wanted the entire school of 1400+ students to see the presentation. Whoa, that’s a lot of students! It’s rare that I get presentations of that size. My expectations were completely shattered and a huge smile crossed my face as the snowball hurled down the mountain.

After having successful meetings with headquarters, the story gets a little better. You see my birthday was Saturday. So this day may have been the best imaginable birthday present from ACE. Friday caused an avalanche of awesomeness, and left me inspired, fired up, grateful, challenged, and emotionally drained in the best possible way.

Now if only I had gotten that book.