ECO2school Earns Statewide Recognition for Clean Air Leadership

by Amy Jolly

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For the past eight years, the
The Climate Center’s (CCP) youth climate leadership program, called ECO2school, has empowered Sonoma County high school students
to address climate change. That hard work is paying off.

Amy Jolly, Program Manager for CCP’s ECO2school Program, was awarded the Breathe California Clean Air Award
for Education
. The award, which
honors Bay Area leaders making a positive impact on air quality, affirms the
effectiveness of the ECO2school program as a model for empowering young people to proactively address the climate
crisis.  Amy was recognized for rapidly
expanding the ECO2school program and creating a model that can be
replicated in other schools throughout California and beyond.

More than 12,000 students at twelve
of Sonoma County’s nineteen schools participated in the program during the 2014-2015
school year. Nearly 2/3 of participating students tried new behaviors that are
healthier for the planet and their own well-being. In each school, ECO2school’s
student leadership teams promote active transportation to their peers as a way to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve long-term personal, community, and
environmental health.

“These students are true leaders,
inspiring their peers to make responsible choices for the environment,
especially related to transportation,” said Amy.

Using a service learning model,
student leaders design and implement greenhouse gas reducing activities,
articulate goals, engage community partners, and assess and report the impact
of their efforts.

CCP’s goal is to serve all nineteen
Sonoma County high schools and see other schools in California implement
similar programs that engage the youth in addressing climate change.

“We are creating ambassadors for
positive change,” said Amy. “I’m honored to be a part of this process.”

Learn more about CCP’s ECO2school
program.

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Photos: (Top) Amy Jolly accepts Breath California award with other 2015 award recipients. (Bottom) Amy Jolly with ECO2school colleague, Paola Alvarado.

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