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Building the Bench -- A New Generation of Green Building Leaders

Emerging Professionals (EPs) and students are tomorrow’s leaders, and USGBC Florida wants to provide pathways for education, training, engagement, networking and career advancement for these future leaders in the sustainability and green-building movement. These advantages include:

  • Exam Discount –- Students receive a discount on the LEED Green Associate exam (only $100).
  • Membership Discount -- EPs and Students receive deeply discounted rates to be USGBC Florida members -- and the exact same benefits.
    To join, click here
  • Board of Directors Seat -– EPs have a chance to advance their career by serving on the USGBC Florida Board of Directors and/or on one of the USGBC Florida Regional Boards. 
  • Impactful Volunteer Opportunities –- By volunteering with the Chapter/Region, students and EPs work side-by-side with passionate green-building practitioners and leaders on a committee,
    event or ongoing initiative. 
  • Discounts -- On GREENworking
    events, exam-prep courses,
    workshops, and membership.
  • Direct Engagement – USGBC Florida and its Regions and Branches, provide a host of opportunities to make a difference and engage with decision-makers and influencers in your community through advocacy, greening your school or workplace, and hands-on service projects such as Green Apple Day of Service. Not to mention the fun and camaraderie!
  • Internships (Paid and Unpaid) -- USGBC Florida, as a nonprofit organization, occasionally has both paid and unpaid internships, as well as community service hour opportunities.  To learn more, click here.

Emerging Professionals

Emerging Professionals (EP) are the energetic and dynamic leaders of tomorrow’s green building movement. The USGBC Florida Chapter's Emerging Professionals program enables like-minded sustainability professionals to be a force for advancement within our community by providing a forum for networking and education. 

Emerging Professionals are young professionals (under 30 years of age or within five years of graduation) in the early stages of their careers who are interested in professional development, networking opportunities, and becoming community change agents. Pursuits are team-based activities that will allow participants to develop their social, professional and civic capabilities.

Examples of EP activities at the Region/Branch levels include:

  • GREENworking Events
  • Service Projects
  • Natural Talent Design Competition
  • Green Apple Day of Service Projects
  • Creating and Implementing Green Business Festival
  • Policy Advancement

University and College Students

The USGBC actively works in partnership with students, faculty and administrators to strengthen campus sustainability efforts across the USA.

Every year, students are hard at work transforming their campuses and communities into places that are inspiring, thought-provoking, and good for the planet. These students plan gardens on school property, calculate carbon footprints, advocate for green building policies, assess school energy use, enforce the school's recycling program, and encourage more sustainability curriculum in the classrooms. 

USGBC Students offers these aspirational student leaders access to resources, a national support network, and discounts on credentialing exams and study guides to prepare them for success.

Any student, from anywhere around the globe, can become a USGBC Student just by signing up. What does that mean? It means students get to showcase the knowledge, skills and credentials that will jump-start their careers. It means students get a personalized experience and can find activities and resources suited for their specific interests. .

To get started, go to www.usgbc.org and create a student profile by clicking Account in the upper right corner, then "Create one." Tell us you’re a student, provide information about yourself, and list your achievements to date. If you have a LEED professional credential, it will show up in your profile. And if you have completed a LEED Lab, you can earn a special badge.

Other resources include:


USGBC Florida, as a nonprofit organization, occasionally has both paid and unpaid internships, as well as community service opportunities.  To learn more, click here. 


A whole-system approach to sustainability requires individuals from across an organization to work together. Successfully advancing whole-school sustainability requires schools and campuses to not only shift practices and policies but also to shift culture. Staff, faculty, students, parents and leadership must create the conditions necessary to journey forward. USGBC is here to help. 

The Whole School Sustainability Framework and the Roadmap to a Green Campus are two resources to support the transformation of school environments.

Other resources include:

In 2017, I will celebrate 10 years of involvement with USGBC Florida! As I started building my career in green buildings and sustainability, I was looking for a home and found it at USGBC.  The relationships made in USGBC became my second family and led to every position I have ever held. I've learned about perseverance, professionalism, and community engagement from the many mentors and leaders in this organization.  I am excited for the future of this organization and committed to spreading mentorship to other Emerging Professionals as I continue to grow alongside USGBC.

- Jeff Benavides

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