Alhambra High Closes the Year Strong

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Last Thursday, Alhambra High Earth Team closed the year stronger then ever.  This team has been faced with many challenges this semester and has over came all of them.  They are the smallest earth team within the program, yet one of the strongest.  An all female team, each young lady has had to step up to the plate taking on more responsibility to account for the smaller team, and each one of them succeeded with flying colors.  The team continued to engage the San Pablo community raising awareness about the many effects of litter on our bay, reaching over 1,600 peers in the community and their own campus in the second semester alone.  In addition to the increase in awareness and education, the team was able to prevent nearly 17,000 pieces of litter from entering the local watersheds and harming our Bay habitats and wildlife.  All interns have developed tremendously as professionals and can speak about their project to the public with ease and grace.

In celebration of all of their hard work, the interns were awarded certificates of achievement by their program coordinator, Jordan DeSilva, and Earth Team board president, Michele Korpos.  Seniors were decorated with green Earth Team cords to wear during graduation, and the team spent the afternoon enjoying the near by Martinez Marina and reflecting on their many great experiences throughout the semester.  There is no doubt that these humans will continue to enact change in the communities that they thrive in.

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Interns Present to the San Pablo City Council

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With the year coming to an end, our Alhambra High interns were eager to present their accomplishments to the San Pablo City Council.  Joined by three other teams that were focusing their efforts in the San Pablo/Richmond area, our interns were able to paint a story of the outcomes all their hard work produced.  Shradha Shakya, a junior at Alhambra High, spoke to the council about the goals the team had set for the semester and their allignment with the City’s Complete Green Streets Project. Arianna Aguilera, a senior at Alhambra High, followed speaking to the council about the many methods the team used to engage the community in their efforts to reduce waste and continued to use data to prove to the council how effective community engagement can be in reducing litter.  Dhzyia Miller-Ford, a senior as well, closed the presentation by speaking on the many methods the team has developed to reduce waste both in the Rumrill Blvd. community and on their own campus and the challenges the team overcame when planning for each event.

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After the presentation it was clear the interns were feeling energized and proud.  Each council member made an effort to thank the students for their hard work and dedication.  It is through experiences like these that our students draw their inspiration, and the communities we work in realize the power of the youth.

Over 7,000 Pieces of Litter Removed During Rumrill Community Clean Up

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Earth Day weekend was a successful one for Earth Team interns across the East Bay. Youth from Richmond, Martinez, and Oakland came together joined by many members of the Rumrill community, to reduce litter in the area, that is known to be harming wildlife, polluting water resources, and destroying habitat.

Alhambra High interns led the event flawlessly, giving speeches to the crowd about the work they have been doing to reduce litter and guiding nearly 100 participants through a litter clean up.  Elizabeth White, a representative of CA EPA, joined the interns to speak to the crowd about the ways they can make a change and future opportunities in the STEM field for upcoming professionals.  Amanda Booth, Environmental Program Analyst for the City of San Pablo, came out to support the event and help lead participants safely through the clean up.  In just one hour, the group of 92 collected 7,190 pieces of litter.  Prizes were given to the group that collected the most litter and LPS Richmond Band played a delightful set to round off the celebration.

Alhambra High interns spent weeks preparing for the day, and can proudly say they have planned and executed a community event.  Event space was donated by Mac Arthur Community Baptist Church, and long time advocate for the Rumrill community, and generous donations were given by Murphy Flooring, Subway, Trader Joe’s, Pizza My Heart, and Patagonia.  With out these donations and the support of the community this event would not have been what it was.

Here is a reflection from Rebecca Jochum about the day:

“From this experience I learned that you should never procrastinate, and we as a whole, did not. I also learned that public speaking is very difficult and scary. Lastly, I learned that you should not procrastinate on preparation and studying.

Overall I had one major challenge, preparation. I am an on the spot and wing-it type of person but this project involved lots of preparation and planning. During this project I needed to overcome this part of me, I needed my team for that part. They taught me that winging it is good occasionally, but readiness is always better. My team taught me great skills that I will always remember in the future.

My overall favorite part of the day was near the end. My favorite part was the communities input and cooperation during this event. I loved when we all got back from making a difference in the community and then we all talked. The community gave us their opinions and we are using them to make a difference. My favorite part of Earth Day was the sharing of ideas and the connecting that we did as a whole community. I also enjoyed working with my team to create that event, to bring the community together, and connect as a whole.”

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