Miss Delaware USA 2019 is a Horticulture Advocate
I am Jolisa Copeman, a 23-year-old from Middletown, Delaware. Recently I was crowned Miss Delaware USA 2019 and I am dedicating my year to bringing awareness of horticulture. My passion for the environment and horticulture started at a young age, as I was raised in the Poconos. I was constantly interacting with nature growing up. As I grew older I began to recognize the gap between the environment, inner city spaces, and children. My goal is to show kids how cool horticulture is. I believe children should have the opportunity to learn about the importance of plants, how impactful they are to physical health, and all of the awesome job opportunities available within horticulture. Youth are our future.
I have dual degrees from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship and Design and a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. During my college career I was able to travel the world – 14 countries to be exact. I studied abroad in Thailand, Myanmar, England, and Spain. My travels provided the opportunity to study other sustainability practices, and see how I can bring healthy practices to the U.S. Every culture has a different way of interacting with the land during their daily lifestyles. My favorite memory was when I got to bathe with a herd of elephants in South East Asia, after feeding them lunch.
I love traveling because it changes your perspective on life and gives you fresh ideas. I was also fortunate enough to complete two mission trips to Costa Rica and Greece. While volunteering abroad, I helped with animal rehabilitation, reforestation, and beach cleanup. I’ll never forget seeing all of the plastic on the ocean floor, and how impactful the removal of four tons of garbage was to the marine life in the Mediterranean Sea.
After graduation, I began to work closely with the Senior Display Designer at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. I help prepare the plans for Longwood’s seasonal displays. As part of my job I utilize AutoCAD to create a visual representation of the conservatory displays. Additionally, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign are programs I use to make ideas into reality by creating mockups of specific display exhibits. Not only do I complete design work in the office, I also get to work in the conservatory and get my hands dirty during large display changes helping horticulturalists with plant installations.
To accomplish display changes I manage projects that require cross departmental collaboration from marketing, horticulture, and design. I attend meetings with my supervisor and prepare his presentations. The most exciting part of a job is seeing the designs I’ve prepared come to fruition on a mass scale.
In addition to working full time, I am also a board member for the nonprofit organization called Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids (HFHK). HFHK is an organization that starts school-based community gardens that provide curriculum and hands on learning experiences for students. The kids are able to harvest what they grow, and eat their harvest for lunch. This provides a physically interactive experience between nature and the children. After the realization that they can grow food that tastes good, they begin to practice healthy habits starting at a young age.
Seed Your Future is an amazing organization because it provides all of the resources necessary to teach kids about the importance of plants and the people who work in the art, science, technology, and business of horticulture. There are so many opportunities under this umbrella that I was not aware of when I was younger. If I knew half of what I know now, I would have begun my career in horticulture immediately after high school graduation. Despite my long journey to horticulture, Seed Your Future could have simplified my path with their guidance, which is why I am proud to be a part of Seed Your Future and help other passionate nature lovers find their career within horticulture. Join me in this movement and follow my year on my Facebook fan page @MissDelawareUSA2019.