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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Sidell, Illinois, USA

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Sidell, Illinois, USA


Registered: December 2010
City/Town/Province: Sidell
Posts: 1
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When the green trend influenced the rest of the world, small and rural areas lagged behind. With an average graduating class size of 30, Jamaica High School is both. Upon moving here, I was disappointed that we had no recycling program. When I inquired, my principal explained that Vermilion County no longer had any recycling budget; all locations were closing. Recycling just was not realistic.
During junior year, a friend and I spoke to Mrs. Ferber, our chemistry teacher. When we pitched our recycling idea, her enthusiasm was a pleasant surprise, given our principal’s initial response. We met in her room every study hall to plan our program. Before long, the recycling program developed into Jamaica Science Club. Members would transport the recyclables to Champaign every Friday. The principal embraced the idea and paid for recycling bins personally. Within a week, we held elections, put bins in every classroom, and witnessed the impact.
I continue with Science Club for that reason—the impact. Teachers compete to collect the most recyclables. Members yell at others for not recycling their pop cans. Students learn about recycling—I cannot count the number of times people asked how much money we collect from recycling paper. So many are astounded to learn there is none.
The list of ways I benefit is extensive. To witness, first hand, how a few teenagers can join together and make such a big change truly amazes me. Last year, about fifteen members showed dedication. This year, 43 members joined, meaning almost a third of the school wants to be involved in something that my environmentally conscious friend, my passionate teacher, and I united to create. Finally, this will continue after I graduate. It is part of our legacy—continuing to make my school a better and greener place.
Not only will Jamaica continue as a better and greener place, Science Club has encouraged me to continue helping the environment outside of school, both at home and when I go to college. Last summer I spent 7 weeks at Brown University, taking undergraduate courses and living in a dorm. In the dorm, I encouraged everyone to recycle their resources and helped gain access to the recycling room in our dorm’s basement. Science Club has pushed me to take a look at my environmental impact, and I am trying to change it for the better.
Date: December 27, 2010 Views: 4225 File size: 37.6kb : 350 x 263
Hours Volunteered: 180
Volunteers: 40
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 14 to 18
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