Staff members of Big Four firm EY once again participated in their annual EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors Program this year, donating over 3,000 hours of service to local entrepreneurs in Mexico and Peru.

The week-long program, now entering its ninth year, represents a partnership between EY and the Earthwatch Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes scientific field research and education towards sustainable environments.

“The EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors program offers an excellent opportunity for our people, particularly our young professionals, to immerse themselves in a new culture and leverage their skills in a non-traditional workplace,” stated Deborah Holmes, EY Americas director of corporate responsibility. “Over the last nine years, we have witnessed the direct impact that this program has on our people and the quality of their work. Involvement in EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors strengthens participants’ teaming skills and they return empowered to directly apply what they’ve learned offsite to their work at home. They also demonstrate higher engagement with EY.”

This year, 40 EY staff members traveled to Peru and Mexico to bring their business acumen to local entrepreneurs, as well as helping to conduct field research on environmental issues.

Professionals who traveled to Peru worked with AmazonEco, a research business that gives financial strategy advice for conservation initiatives in western Amazonia. EY staff also supported researchers studying the effects of climate change on local wildlife to build conservation strategies within local communities.

EY's Mexico team helped with marketing and sales strategies for a local farming co-op working towards improving the local ecosystem. The team also collected data on water quality in the Xochimilco wetlands as part of research on freshwater ecosystems around the world.

“One aspect of the program that stood out for me was the diversity of our team, which included colleagues from many member firms across geographies and with different backgrounds, skills and abilities. I learned so much about the other service lines at EY and how they compare across countries,” said Mala Bingham, a campus recruiter for EY in Denver and a program participant, per a statement. “With the support of my EY-Earthwatch team, I was able to simultaneously collaborate and project manage, while also developing my public speaking skills. This experience reinvigorated my commitment to giving back to our communities and the earth. I gained confidence in my knowledge of sustainable initiatives and in my ability to explain the concepts to those in my sphere of influence.”

EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors Peru Team (from top left): Ben Grabowski, Christian Bowers, Dan Behar, Nina Chen, Cassandra Carvery, Geraldine Izaguirre, Samantha Lane, Paulina Trejo Calzada, Andi Shim, Kerry O’Brien.
EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors Peru Team (from top left): Ben Grabowski, Christian Bowers, Dan Behar, Nina Chen, Cassandra Carvery, Geraldine Izaguirre, Samantha Lane, Paulina Trejo Calzada, Andi Shim, Kerry O’Brien. EY

For more on EY and their volunteer efforts, head to the firm's site here.

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