I am very excited to introduce our new ECO2school Program Coordinator Paola Alvarado. Paola brings nearly five years of experience educating students K-12 through engaging presentations to the ECO2school team. Prior to this, Paola worked and volunteered as a Marine Science educator at multiple aquariums in California, including The Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. A Sonoma County native, she graduated from Elsie Allen High School before continuing her education at the University of California Santa Barbara where she received her degree in Environmental Studies with an Emphasis in Marine Biology. Paola is excited to be back in the North Bay and is looking forward to aiding students in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building their environmental awareness.
I asked Paola some questions and here are her answers…
What inspired you to become an environmental activist?
My love of the outdoors led me to study Environmental Studies in college. That is how I became conscious of the earth’s major climate and environmental issues. It was then that I became passionate about educating myself and others about these issues. This is one of the reasons I am looking forward to working with the Climate Protection Campaign.
What are you looking forward to the most in your new position?
I am really excited to meet the Student Leaders and the Teacher Champions. I think they will be welcoming, passionate, motivated, and most importantly fun to work with. Also, I am looking forward to being around people who care about the environment and know they can make a difference in the world. Collaborating with students to find ways to inspire and mobilize their peers energizes me. Together, I know we can build new habits that reduce our carbon footprint while instilling these new habits in our future generations.
Your new position is to be a role model to young people. Was there someone who inspired you when you were in high school?
My mother has always inspired me; she has lived her life as a true role model, leading by example. This is something that I strive for each and every day. However, it is Eleanor Roosevelt’s words that motivate me when I am feeling the most challenged, she wrote, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” I hope that, if I can instill anything in anyone, it is to find their passion and pursue their dreams, while being green of course!
You said you love the outdoors. Do you have a favorite place to visit for inspiration?
Yosemite National Park is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. I enjoy camping, floating down the Merced River, hiking Half Dome, visiting the waterfalls, and most of all finding new hidden lakes every time I visit. I challenge everyone to one day visit and find a more beautiful place in California.
What is one thing you can tell us about yourself that few people know?
I enjoy chocolate covered raisins- really ALL chocolate. After I graduated from college and was waiting to hear back from a couple of jobs, I worked at See’s Candy during the holiday season. During this time I managed to sample every single piece of chocolate including the seasonal products. As a result of my seasonal job I now know what the contents of a See’s Candy chocolate piece contains just by looking at it! Few people know this but I ate enough chocolate calories to last me a lifetime. It was a great guilty pleasure.