Conservation Fellows Help to Share the Value of Escondido’s Reidy Creek
Conservation Fellows at the Elfin Forest Reserve analyzing the naturalized portion of Escondido Creek.
From left to right: Fabiola Theberge, Sophomore at Torrey Pines High School; Michelle Torres, Senior at Oceanside High School; Arlunya Sisomvang, Junior at Escondido Charter High School; Yoshigie Garcia, Freshman at Del Lago Academy; Matthew Kenville, Sophomore at La Jolla Country Day.
Words By Aida Rodriguez
Five bright high school students were a part of the 2021 Summer Cohort of Conservation Fellows, an environmental leadership program hosted by The Escondido Creek Conservancy. Through this outdoor education program, students get the opportunity to explore the preserves owned and managed by the Escondido Creek Conservancy, discuss critical environmental issues, and culminate their knowledge into a project that demonstrates their mastery.
Yoshigie Garcia, Freshman at Del Lago Academy, Arlunya Sisomvang, Junior at Escondido Charter High School, Matthew Kenville, Sophomore at La Jolla Country Day, Michelle Torres, Senior at Oceanside High School, and Fabiola Theberge, Sophomore at Torrey Pines High School each spent five consecutive days learning about the Reidy Creek Restoration Project, exploring the Escondido Creek watershed, and completing assignments designed by our education team to enhance their outdoor knowledge, and enabling them to grow as environmental leaders.
These students spent three weeks of summer vacation sharing their newly acquired knowledge, and showcased the Conservancy’s on-going restoration efforts by hosting Nature Walks along the creek for the Escondido community. At the nature walks, they impressed attendees with their competence, and inspired all of us to pay loving attention to our natural surroundings. One Escondido resident and attendee, Juan Figeroa said, “It’s amazing to discover that this piece of nature is located right in our backyard, something I drive by every day and never even noticed.” The nature walks were approximately one hour in duration and hosted over 25 attendees in total.
On February 1st, 2022, three of the fellows joined a Zoom reunion to discuss college applications and future career goals. Michelle Torres, Senior at Oceanside High School, shared her experience with college applications and expressed her excitement about her next steps forward. She has received one college acceptance so far (California State University San Marcos) and she is waiting to hear back from UCLA soon, which is her dream University to attend. Her anticipated major will be political science. Arlunya Sisomvang, Junior at Escondido Charter High School, is in the process of beginning her personal statement writing and her dream school to attend is California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo as an architectural engineering major. Yoshigie Garcia, Freshman at Del Lago Academy, is enjoying her first year of highschool and has decided she wants to explore her options in the field of science but has not yet decided on colleges to apply to. All students are continuing to volunteer in our monthly shrub club events and pursue their passion for the environment.
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