Making a Difference: Profiles of the Youth Leadership Board

Meet Justin

When Justin, 14, was a child growing up in San Jose, his best friend asked him:

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

No one had ever asked Justin that question before. Finally, Justin had an idea. He remembered a day spent near the ocean. "I want to be a marine biologist," he told his friend. Over the years, Justin's love for nature didn't go away. In fact, it only grew stronger.

As a teen, Justin became intrigued by marine life - dolphins, bay rays, and clams. More than anything, he was fascinated by fish. But there was something missing in Justin's connection to nature.

Justin was lucky to experience the wonders of the natural world, but he had no way to share his excitement and protect what he loved.

In 2015, Justin joined the EV's Youth Leadership Board.
"I joined because I really want to know what a 14-year-old has the potential to do," Justin says. "What is the maximum influence I can have to help teach the community? When I heard about Youth Leadership Board from a friend, I immediately thought, 'This is right up my alley. Sign me up.'" For the first time, Justin is making a difference for nature. And he feels great about it.

As one of the youngest members of the Youth Leadership Board, Justin joined the Activities Committee. He helps create hands-on activities that will teach people how to conserve water. "We've formed a partnership with the Outreach Committee," he says. "They build awareness among the general public, and then we demonstrate how to change for the better."

Justin is not alone in his wish to make a difference. The first Youth Leadership Board began with 8 students. Now the program has 22 students!

As the Environmental Volunteers grows our programs, we need your support. Donate now to the Environmental Volunteers and bring environmental programs to more students like Justin.

Your financial support of the EV helps to share your own appreciation for our beautiful and amazing planet and encourage everyone in our community to become good stewards of our environment.

Youth Leadership Board (YLB)
is the Environmental Volunteers' first in-depth program designed specifically for teens. This year-long program provides youth with training in environmental science, STEM job skills, and team building skills that acknowledge and embrace group diversity. Students have the chance to exercise new skills and knowledge by developing a capstone project of their own design, focusing on environmental stewardship. Click here to see the EV Water Project, the culimnation of the 2014-2015 cohorts' work on water conservation and drought education.

Click here to meet more participants in the 2015-2016 cohort of YLB. Here, YLB members reflect on social change, personal power, and responsibility for the environment. As you will see, these young leaders are inspired to make a difference!