Championing Environmental Education: Miami Teen Inspires Sustainable Action
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Championing Environmental Education: Miami Teen Inspires Sustainable Action

The Climate Leaders Fellowship is a leadership development program for students interested in climate change and environmental sustainability. The online program is provided by a collaboration between the Stanford University Deliberative Democracy Lab and the Rustic Pathways Foundation.

Alex, who participated in the fall cohort, came back to join the fourth cycle of the fellowship this spring. Read her story below!

I am Alex Pool, a rising senior living in Miami, Florida. I have always been passionate about environmental education and sustainability, so when Earth Day week came around, I took it upon myself to teach my school about climate change and recycling.

I began to organize informative slideshows for each advisory group. These slideshows covered various aspects of environmental awareness, including facts, discussion questions, and essential information.

Before the presentations were sent out, I dedicated those previous several weeks to create not just the slide shows, but created interactive games and videos to teach students how to recycle correctly. I worked with numerous students in my community to produce two engaging videos.

These videos were both fun and educational, effectively involving the entire school community and showcasing the importance of environmental responsibility. I thoroughly enjoyed creating these resources and fostering a sense of excitement and learning among my peers.

I didn’t want this learning experience for my community to stop there, so I continued to organize a field trip with the students, focusing on cleaning up debris at the historical Arch Creek Park through the Miami Eco Adventures. This hands-on experience allowed us to actively contribute to preserving and restoring the park’s natural beauty. We spent the day removing litter and debris, promoting a clean and sustainable environment for everyone to enjoy.

It was a rewarding experience for all involved, as we not only made a positive impact on the park but also fostered a sense of environmental responsibility and leadership among the students. By actively engaging in this cleanup effort, we learned firsthand the importance of caring for our surroundings and the satisfaction of making a noticeable difference.

To continue making these environmental efforts, I put together a recycling club at my school. Our primary goal is to educate and implement recycling practices within the school community. I feel proud to have organized and be part of a dedicated team with the same commitment to promoting sustainability and pushing for positive environmental changes.

Lastly, I am grateful to have secured a job with my county’s parks and recreation department over the summer, specifically working for Miami Eco Adventures. This opportunity allows me to continue impacting my community by teaching children about environmental sustainability. I started working with Miami Eco Adventures when organizing my first event in the fall, and the connection I formed led to my continued involvement in the spring. This fellowship has been transformative, providing valuable skills that I will carry with me throughout my life.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone