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Zack Lyke, Office of Mayor Ron Nirenberg
Laura Fuller, EcoRise
(San Antonio, Texas, September 8, 2021) — Motivated high school students interested in engaging in community issues supporting climate change, environmental policy, and/or environmental justice are encouraged to apply to the City of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg's Youth Engagement Council for Climate Initiatives. Applications for the council are open now through September 17, 2021; the council will convene this fall and work throughout the 2021–2022 school year. Accepted applicants will be representative of the diverse and growing population of San Antonio metropolitan area. Students from historically underrepresented and underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply. As members of the Mayor's Youth Engagement Council, students will learn about sustainability, local policy, civic procedures, and how these relate to improving their community's health and well-being. In addition, members will have opportunities for professional development, sharpening communication skills, and networking.
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"We are committed to empowering our youth in the climate conversation and have established this council to give young people a voice," says Mayor Nirenberg. "After a successful first year, I'm excited to welcome new participants who will be instrumental in helping us craft a sustainable and resilient San Antonio."
A partnership between the City of San Antonio and the sustainability education non-profit, EcoRise, funded by the Holloman Price Foundation, the Mayor's Youth Engagement Council provides a way for youth to actively engage in the civic process and invest in the future of their city. The council was started last year to foster and include the youth voice in the execution of the City of San Antonio's first Climate Action and Adaption Plan (CAAP) which was adopted on October 17, 2019. Last year's council piloted a bus stop rooftop garden, helped educate their community about renewable energy and recycling, installed bug hotels to increase biodiversity, and advocated for local policy changes related to the CAAP. You can read more about their impact here.
EcoRise has been activating students as green leaders over the last thirteen years in Texas and across the U.S. "As we saw last year with the inaugural council, San Antonio youth are powerful allies in bringing equitable and sustainable changes to their communities. The second year of the council will build on the positive changes initiated last year and provide invaluable opportunities for future green leaders and changemakers of San Antonio," said EcoRise Director of Youth Programs, Brittany Jayroe.
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"The most important thing I learned this year was the relation of social justice issues to climate change," reflected a 2020–2021 council member. "I gained much more insight into the specific problems faced by my community and learned how the roots of those problems develop. This allowed me and my group to more effectively develop solutions to the problems in our community."
For more information about the Mayor's Youth Engagement Council and the application process, go to the application here. Interested students should complete the application form by September 17, 2021. Applicants are strongly encouraged to preview the questions and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for any support they may need in filling out the application.
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