Growing environmental stewards through climate literacy youth programs

By: Tracy Zhu and Amy Sinclair

In partnership with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) Community Benefits Program, Calpine Energy Solutions joined the Center for Climate Protection and Hunters Point Family to provide 15 girls from the Bayview-Hunters Point with climate literacy training through the ECO2school program. The girls, ranging in age from 8 to 15, learned about greenhouse gas emissions and the everyday actions they can adopt to curb climate change.

 

“These girls are the next generation of problem solvers and creative thinkers,” said, Amy Jolly, Youth Leadership Development Manager for the Center for Climate Protection. “It’s exciting to see them build knowledge and apply their enthusiasm to the challenge of climate change. As they grasp the complexity and scope of the problem and are informed of existing solutions, they are engaged and transformed by this new information and, importantly, hopeful about the future.”

 

The ECO2school participants were asked to create a project to share climate action skills with their peers in a meaningful and relevant way. The girls planned and produced a music video about climate change. The video explored some of the challenges in their neighborhood and the actions they can take to positively impact their community. The girls won second place in the Center for Climate Protection’s video contest.

 

“[ECO2school] helped me to think before throwing things on the ground. Especially, after making the video in my neighborhood,” said Maniyah Hayes, an ECO2school participant. “Being in the community and learning how everything is affected by how we treat our environment. I want to know and learn more.”

Through the program, ECO2school participants also participated in a meeting with SFPUC and Calpine Energy Solutions staff. During the meeting, Amy Sinclair, CleanPowerSF Communications Officer, explained the SFPUC’s mission and core operations and demonstrated through a role-playing exercise how the CleanPowerSF program works. The girls also had the opportunity to learn about career journeys and opportunities through a panel of Calpine Energy and SFPUC staff including David Gray, Equity & Inclusion Manager from Community Benefits and Cheryl Taylor, Principal Analyst from Finance.    

 

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