As a kid in elementary school I was always the quiet one getting picked on and bullied, causing me not to have much intention to interact with anybody at school. My sisters would constantly lecture me to fight back but they came to see that I’m not that kind of person. I’d always ask them “what’s wrong with me?” So they explained to me that bullies are the ones that have something wrong with them that they usually are the ones who have a troubling life at home and that’s their mechanism to feel better about themselves.
I was confused yet content and thus I eventually became quite observant. I didn’t just observe my peers; I began to observe my family, people on tv, my dogs, and the wildlife in my yard. I’d spent most of my time outside digging in the dirt for slugs, looking under rocks for roly-polly’s, looking in flowers for ladybugs and scattering bread and crackers around my house to attract birds. They fascinated me so much I needed to share my findings with someone. I would try my sisters but they’re terrified of insects so I tried my 4-yr old niece because she was very curious. She was a reason for my love of teaching about nature. When I came home from elementary school I would have my own classroom outside teaching her what I learned that day. We would also have our own recess looking for bugs, playing in the dirt, catching moths and scaring my sisters with our findings. It became a daily routine even on the weekends; but as we got older I stopped teaching. She was upset; however I’d see her following in my footsteps of making her own school looking for bugs, saving worms from drowning when it rained and scattering food for the birds. It was heartwarming because I couldn’t bond with my peers at school like her because they were stereotypically scared of insects so I’d have nothing to talk to them about.
My older sister was in high school and she would constantly talk about this environmental teacher she had, she’d teach me the things she learned in that class. I was so fascinated that I couldn’t wait for high school to take that class. but when I found out that that class is only for upper classmen I was devastated. But towards the end of freshman year that teacher had developed an environmental club, so she recruited some students and I was one of them.
This was a new beginning to my green life. I became one of the founders of our green club on campus called Burbank Environmental Action Service Team, also known as BEAST, and from that year forward I have been highly active in the club. I went to all of the Green School presentations to propose a waste audit to the judges. So far we got rewarded money to renovate our restrooms by getting hand dryers and a new water system to reduce water bill, and the next year we got a new recycling system installed around school because we did not have any recycling bins. We did have a recycling dumpster so the school would put trash in the recycling dumpster so we proposed to fix that problem and finally the year we got rewarded to reduce grass on campus in order to waste less water and replaced it by having a green garden which is still in the process of coming. I’m so proud of all my achievement of helping my school become green.
I was blessed to have the opportunity to go to the national green conference with our mentor Ms.Tellez and fellow members from BEAST. The experience became indented in my memory because it opened my eyes to so much potential that our young students like me can make in our community. It empowered me to strive for a greener life that I began to spread my greenness to my family and friends by reminding them not to liter or recycle more or suggesting to buy a reusable water bottle instead of plastic water bottles. Green is my motto, green is my empowerment, green is the way I live life.