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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Sacramento, California, USA

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Sacramento, California, USA
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jade123



Registered: October 2022
City/Town/Province: Sacramento
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My name is Jade Marin and I am a Junior attending Inderkum High School in Sacramento California. I am a young climate activist and community volunteer in Sacramento who is willing to embrace change for our future environment and people. The reason I chose to do an Apprentice Ecologist project on behalf of the Nicodemus Wilderness Project was because of my commitment to school and achieving my good grades.My project started out as community service hours required to meet school standards as a Freshman. For these community service requirements, I needed to complete 20 hours of community service combined from my Freshman and Sophomore year. In my Freshman year during COVID-19, my teacher told us to pick a UN sustainable development goal in which we would focus on for our service hours. I decided to choose goal 12, Responsible Consumption and Reduction. I chose this because I believed it was a simple issue that everyone would understand and know of its importance. I cared about the environment and keeping it clean, so I thought it would be an easy task to go around picking up trash locally. A couple of months later, I finished creating a policy regarding food waste which promoted ways to reduce the waste we generate with our food. The process of creating the policy was empowering and motivating, yet the journey to influencing the policy to the Natomas Unified School District was very challenging and has continued to be very challenging ever since.


To start off my community service hours, I needed to find opportunities within my Sacramento community that related to food waste reduction, recycling, or anything concerning the environmental need to reduce waste reduction that polluted our planet. Around the time school had started in Freshman year, I found a club on the google slides of all of Inderkum's clubs called Generation Green.This is where I came across the opportunity to create an environmental policy regarding the reduction of food waste. Although everything took place virtually in Freshman year, I still was able to get my service hours done. In one of my first club meetings for Generation Green, one of the club members who is now a climate activist friend of mine mentioned the opportunity to work with two non-profit organizations on the issue of food waste generation; California Center for Civic Participation and CalRecycle. It was a virtual opportunity to learn and engage in order to create a policy on this issue to implement at school. First, I virtually connected with two CalRecycle employees and one CalCenter employee who mentored and collaborated with me in order to create an actionable policy on food waste reduction. My goal was to implement food waste reduction and recycling at the school and district level. There would have been many environmental benefits of a food waste program, including methane reduction, improved air quality, and edible food recovery for food insecure people, and this program was required in schools by state law (AB 1826 Mandatory Commercial Organics and soon to be SB 1383 Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy).Throughout our meetings, we discussed the gaps in environmental programs, food insecurity, environmental justice, and climate change. Later on, they taught me of the Assembly Bill legislation that had been implemented and was required in California so that I could have reference to create my own policy. The ultimate goal of this policy was to have three bin systems at Inderkum High School, which would separate compost, recycling, and trash landfill.


When my policy was complete, I was able to present this policy within a fundraiser in which me and other students in CalCenter were able to present actionable projects within their communities. I was very empowered to share this policy in order to ensure that all schools would be sustainable and greener for everyone in the present and future. Knowing that I had a policy on hand, I needed to move forward by initiating that my school would look into the policy. I contacted nutrition services, my school principal and vice principals, and cafeteria people within the district. Through this process, I struggled to influence my policy as the people I reached out to lacked communication and feedback for my policy. However, I did gain an insight of the lunch systems and how food was distributed across the Natomas Unified School District campuses. I soon realized that my high school did not have a recycling bin system. This was very concerning to me, so later, I continued to reach out to my principal and other adults, but found no help. After that, I decided to wait for my new principal at Inderkum and had hoped that emailing her would be beneficial in gathering her insight of the policy. But, she resigned the next year so I would have to reach out to another new principal. This principal failed to respond to my email, so I figured I would need to reach out to him in person sometime.


In 2021, I was one of the leaders of the Generation Green club at my school. After the first year of being involved in the club Freshman year, the club's prior club president reached out and asked if I wanted to be one of the new leaders. He had chosen me because I showed a great passion and engagement in support of environmental opportunities and projects. So, I decided to be the research director for my club in order to help students make sustainable actions and gain an insight of environmental issues. Eventually, our club decided to have monthly trash cleanups around our school to beautify the nature present at the Inderkum High School Campus. Even if I didn't accomplish my goal of implementing the policy I had wanted in Freshman year, I was still able to make a change in Sophomore year as I clearly led my peers to cleanse our campus of trash. Many small changes end up creating great changes, and that's what has inspired me to become an environmental justice activist within my community to fight for our environment and our world.


Being an environmental justice activist has been hard because I've had to fight not just for myself, but for future generations of people and their environment. I came across the opportunity to advocate for the climate when I signed up for a non-profit organization called Fridays for Future Sacramento, a youth-led organization that fights to end the problem of climate change through various actions such as protests, petitions and community organizing. The most memorable event I've done with Fridays for Future Sacramento in 2022 was attending a global climate strike during school.


With my peers, who were also young environmental activists, I marched from Sacramento's Tower Bridge to the State Capitol of California on a school day in order to urge our Governor Newsom to have further oil drilling setbacks and end neighborhood oil drilling. We demonstrated our stop, drop and roll initiative which consisted of the need to stop new oil drilling, drop existing oil production and roll out buffer zones. In our small group, we carried over-sized petition delivery cards to hand to an official who would then give to governor Newsom. Our end goal was to have Newsom sign off on the bill SB1137, which would establish 3,200 feet of setbacks between new oil and gas wells and the community. So in the end, our goal was accomplished as we successfully delivered the petitions to governor Gavin Newsom's office and at around the end of the month, he agreed to sign off on the bill directly due to our activism on August 13,2022 for the People's Climate Protest that Fridays for Future was involved in. Now, this is how we create change, by advocating for one another. In the end, I learned that this project was worth it and it has inspired me to grow and become passionate about this issue because the issue of climate change impacts all of us. We all need to take action and advocate on this issue in order to sustain our future generations of people and our environment.
Date: November 28, 2022 Views: 163 File size: 143.5kb, 327.2kb : 447 x 318
Hours Volunteered: 50
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16
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