SOUTH BAY WATCH: SBCCOG Joins Forces with Green Ambassadors

[photo] ECHS Green Ambassadors Presenting to SBCCOG Board of Directors

AS FEATURED IN SOUTH BAY WATCH

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Summer 2015 Edition

How to engage our youth who will be the future leaders in the South Bay? Invite them to work on a statewide program — that is just what the SBCCOG did! The SBCCOG invited the Green Ambassadors of Environmental Charter High School (ECHS) in Lawndale to partner on the statewide initiative: Energy Upgrade California. This initiative helps Californians take action now to save energy, conserve natural resources, reduce demand on the electric grid, use clean energy options, and make
informed energy management choices at home and at work.

As part of this collaborative effort, the ECHS Green Ambassadors provided three presentations and had tables at three community and employee events during February through May 2015. The students and their teacher received training from SBCCOG staff about the Energy Upgrade California program, as well as giveaway items and energy efficiency “demonstration” devices for use at their presentations and community events.

The Green Ambassadors shared information and encouraged the public to take action such as: upgrading to LED bulbs, installing low-fl ow shower heads, getting solar electricity or water heating, using advanced smart strips to stop standby power, installing smart thermostats and home energy monitors, or buying the most efficient Energy Star appliances. Their message
was that little things can add up to make a difference—when all Californians take action.
In addition, six of the ECHS Green Ambassadors presented at the May SBCCOG Board of Directors meeting: Robin Ensley, Jocelyne Contero, Carolyn Lam, Vanesa Iniguez, Jenni Villa, and Athziri Madrigal. Sammy Lyon, ECHS Environmental Service Learning Coordinator, was also in attendance. The students highlighted their involvement through a slide presentation and shared with the audience their impressions of participating in this program.

Some of the comments from the students included:

“I enjoyed being able to spread awareness and the amazing message of Energy Upgrade California. I felt very proud of my work and I was treated like an adult in terms of getting the message across. I learned that people wanted to make a change, but they didn’t know where to start, so Energy Upgrade gave them some guidance in a sense. I’m very thankful for my experience and will continue to be a lifelong advocate for the environment.”

“It was a rewarding feeling, knowing that people trusted us. I think that’s what got to them the most; the fact that we were young adults trying to fix this problem.”

“I got to step out of the classroom and see firsthand the impact that I can make on my community.”

“I found my passion, plain and simple. Helping people is all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

The Green Ambassadors program at ECHS is an innovative academic program that creates opportunities for students to develop leadership skills while addressing the critical environmental issues facing our planet and its residents. Students in the Green Ambassadors class become green advocates and ambassadors by jumping into real life environmental issues to find real solutions. Students build skills in outreach, marketing, event planning, and fundraising. They design brochures and shoot videos, write press releases, all in support of a community event where they will be the presenters, teaching younger students and community members about how to address important environmental problems.

The Energy Upgrade California brand is owned by the California Public Utilities Commission and supported by an alliance of the California Energy Commission, utilities, regional energy networks,
local governments, businesses, and non-profits to help communities meet state and local energy
and climate action goals. Funding comes from investor-owned utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Visit www.energyupgradeca.org to learn how to take steps to use and manage energy at home and at work.