Traditionally, underserved urban youth and youth that are minorities have not had access to the natural world. They have not been involved in education and career opportunities in the environmental fields and the green industry. Anthony Sanchez co-founded Eagle Eye Institute in 1990 to address this issue. A troubled youth himself, Sanchez has now turned his life toward helping young people. Sanchez worked out of his house initially and built relationships with politicians, community residents and community-based organizations.
Since 1991, he has acted as a volunteer Executive Director and generally spends more than 40 hours a week on work related to Eagle Eye endeavors. Sanchez, along with his co-founder bought 180 acres of land in Peru, which they maintain privately and keep open for public use and for the use of the programs. In these programs, he takes youth from urban settings to the land to have a three-day experience with nature.
Sanchez developed and implemented Eagle Eye’s first program, Learn About Forests, and has involved more than 2,500 multi-ethnic youth from Massachusetts in carefully planned, magical summer experiences, which also include Learn About Water, Learn About Agriculture and Learn More About Forests.
The Rainbow Stewards after-school program was started in 1999 to involve Somerville youth in a comprehensive city tree survey and environmental work. Under Sanchez’s direction, a nationwide public service campaign to connect urban people of color with tree care organizations in six cities reached 20 million viewers in 2001. This also includes a Web site, www.treesaremyfriends.org, which is still being utilized as a resource.
One of his current projects is collaborating with YouthBuild USA and the Massachusetts Arborists Association to provide arboricultural workshops and training for youth as a career bridge into this field. After more than 10 years as Executive Director of Eagle Eye, Sanchez continues to bring creativity and inspiration to the organizations always strives to do more, which translates into innovative opportunities for both the youth and adults.
Sanchez grew up in New York City and has a profound understanding of the issues and challenges facing youth today. His background and life experiences have given him motivation and focus as well as an understanding of the transformational power of nature. Sanchez is guided by a deep-rooted spirituality and a passion for the work he does. Sanchez has provided opportunities for thousands of youth to connect with their natural world. He has forged partnerships with local, regional and national organizations with overlapping missions; and his work continually has an impact in diversifying the environmental movement so his community, individuals and the environment is stronger.