19/20 Youth for Environmental Action Leadership Team

The purpose of the Youth Environmental Leadership Group is to increase and connect youth and community efforts focused on environmental sustainability and implementation of local solutions.

For more information contact Amity Sandage at asandage@santacruzcoe.org or Celeste Gutierrez at cgutierrez@santacruzcoe.org

To stay up to date please follow us on Instagram at @sccsstudentleadership

“I am passionate about social justice and I want to make sure that future generations have the same opportunities to be enriched in the outdoors as I have.” 

–Youth Environmental Leadership Participant 

Azucena – Watsonville High School

I am a student from Watsonville High School. I love art, dance, poetry, and many more things! I hope to make a positive impact on the world by informing people of a sustainable lifestyle. As a teen, I have the drive to make a change for our future; helping our planet is my main target. I believe all of us can help to save our home if we unite and educate ourselves on the topic.

Calista – Scotts Valley High School

As someone who cares deeply about our environment, something that matters to me is reducing waste and being sustainable in day-to-day life. Every little action contributes to a large impact. I believe that education is the most powerful tool in the fight to protect our environment. By educating ourselves and each other, we are one step closer to protecting our planet.

Carolyn – Pacific Collegiate School

I am passionate about social justice and I want to make sure that future generations have the same opportunities to be enriched in the outdoors as I have. I enjoy backpacking, art, and daydreaming about the goat farm I hope to own in the future.

Dhani – Sequoia High School

I want my next of kin to have everything I ever grew up with (as far as animals go.)

Elena – Scotts Valley High

My name is Elena Bunney, and I am a junior at Scotts Valley High School. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends and family, as well as spending time in nature. I am passionate about helping the environment and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

Isaac – San Lorenzo Valley High School

My name is Isaac Wallace-Menge. I’m a high school senior and an advocate for the environment and sustainability. I hope to make a difference in the future working on renewable energy sources and helping to conduct sustainable business practices. As an outdoorsman, I hope to see significant change and increased respect for the world around me and the environment that provides us with the resources to sustain ourselves. I hope you will join me in helping to advocate for a reduction in pollution and a greater knowledge of the world around us, as we must make change if we want to keep the world clean and functional for generations to come.

Ismael – Pajaro Valley High School

Leilani – Soquel High School

I am a student at Soquel High school and I’m passionate about art, dance, nature, and the environment. It is such a privilege to be a part of this team and work with like-minded individuals who care just as much as I do about the environment. I believe that together, our generation can restore the environment and I’m excited to see that through.

Matt – Scotts Valley High School

Marlize – Cypress High School

My name is Marlize Velasco, and I’m a junior at Cypress High school. I’m taking A.P environmental science which is how I found out about the Santa Cruz County Youth Environmental Action group. Our environment is one of the most pressing issues that we should take into consideration. Especially the youth. The environmental summit creates an outlet for youth to develop ideas about sustainability. Sustainability to me is the first step for creating change through our community. My goal in the environmental summit is to educate the younger youth about sustainability. Education is the way to take action.

Natalie – Aptos High School

My name is Natalie Macias, and I am from Aptos High School. My most favorite things to do are jiu-jitsu and bodybuilding. This is my fifth year doing jiu-jitsu and I was recently promoted to blue belt after several intense training sessions which also improved me as a person. It taught me to stay calm under pressure, adapt quicker to situations, and much more. I’ve been bodybuilding for 9 yrs now, the sport is very addicting. What is most intriguing is pushing past the pain barriers to become a stronger person. I hope to gain more knowledge of how to reverse global warming to continue informing people how to save our home.

Olivia – Watsonville High School

My name is Olivia and I am particularly interested in chemistry, biochemistry, and biology at Watsonville High School. Some of my favorite hobbies are playing guitar, swimming, riding horses, and going on hikes through the beautiful Santa Cruz County.

Phoenix – Alternative Family Education

Hi my name is Phoenix Rumbaugh, I am 18. I joined the climate summit because I want to help the planet. For years I’ve been doing science fair projects to benefit the planet, like creating ways to slow Ocean acidification, and slowing algae blooms. But I really wanted to do something that could be seen by my fellow students, and encourage people to make a difference.

Quinn – San Lorenzo Valley High School

I’m Quinn Herzon from San Lorenzo Valley High School. A lot of people I know have some anxiety about the climate of our planet. I know that there is no second planet and we need to make the earth a sustainable planet with equal opportunities for everyone. I would like to see a much more progressive, justice-centered country. I would like to see leaders who listen to the people and who listen to scientists; what’s really important to me is that everyone gets a fair chance.

Rowyn –  Alternative Family Education

My name is Rowyn Cook. I attend the Alternative Family Education school. The protection of nature and all the life and beauty held within Planet Earth is an obligation that I and the rest of humanity share. Loving The Earth, respecting it and enjoying it is what matters to me.

Seamus – San Lorenzo Valley High School

My name is Saemus and I am an athlete and scholar from San Lorenzo Valley High School. I have 4 years of football for SLV as well as basketball, baseball, and rugby. I am dedicated to living a sustainable lifestyle and am very excited about the Environmental Summit. I plan to go on to become a Nurse and am currently attending EMT school on top of normal classes. I spend my free time in Pleasure Point, enjoying the ocean, listening to music, and hacky sacking with friends.

Sophia – Soquel High School

I’m Sophia Morales from Soquel High School.I grew up and still live in Santa Cruz, and I absolutely love going to the beach with friends when it’s warm (specifically Sunny Cove). I love running for track and cross country, meeting new people, volunteering, reading, thrifting, watching movies, and baking. Also, my soulmate is coffee, and I don’t know how I would survive without it. My favorite foods would probably be nachos and ice cream, even though they’re not really good for you.

Una – Pacific Collegiate School

I am a high school sophmore looking for ways to help our environment before there is no longer a possibility. I am super excited about the Summit that we have put together and hope it will inspire others to do the same!

Violet – Santa Cruz High School

Hello, my name is Violet Edwards, and I am a Santa Cruz High School Senior. I am 18 years old and have had the privilege to live in Santa Cruz my entire life. Growing up next to the ocean and redwoods and being part of the surfing community have cultivated in me a deep love and appreciation for the Earth that we inhabit. The issues we face make me both horrified and sad, which is why I would like to dedicate my life to the salvation of the environment.