Monthly Archives: September 2016

generation-spin

Teen Youth Leadership – Empowering Environmental Action

NEW THIS YEAR – an engaging forum where passionate high school Juniors and Seniors can gain environmental literacy and learn how to engage peers to make a difference in their school communities and world. Global Student Embassy (GSE) created the class using Roots for Success college curriculum developed by Raquel Pindrhuges, Ph.D. who is a Professor and Chair of Urban Studies and Planning Department at San Francisco State University.  Safe Routes to Schools was invited to join in the leadership development portion of the curriculum to help bring a green transportation focus and actionable plan to the environmental clubs that these students lead at their schools.

The curriculum includes videos of environmental destruction caused by humans, coupled with uplifting grass-roots actions that individuals and communities are taking to make necessary environmental changes. Students digest terms such as climate injustice and discuss how economics plays a part in the disproportionate results of climate change on underserved communities.  These leadership students learn that their decisions have impact and that their choices matter.  James Sievert, Safe Routes to Schools Lead Instructor, gave a comprehensive class on transportation; in addition to the benefits of non-motorized transportation, he describe the environmental damage caused by long distance travel with airplanes and cargo ships and encouraged students to consider where items are made and the frequency of purchasing such imported goods.

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A key component to the class are the leadership skills that the students learn and practice. Students are given exercises that enhance their recruitment, communication, and engagement skills to expand their outreach and impact in their school communities.   They develop a plan of action to be done with their school clubs and report back each week on their successes.   The class also provides valuable intra-school collaboration and sharing of ideas.  It’s an opportunity for environmentally engaged youth from several Marin high schools to connect and support one another to achieve results.

“The creativity and playfulness that these leaders naturally radiate is contagious. They want to have fun and now we have a way to bring these youth together so they can learn and empower each other as current and future leaders of our “green planet,”   says Program Director, Gwen Froh.  “Safe Routes to Schools is proud to be a part of this exciting opportunity to partner with GSE.  At last, we can pull like-minded students together and give them the resources, skills, and encouragement to build awareness and achieve results in their schools.”