I am Talia, an incoming high school senior at College Prep in Oakland, and I’ve been a Habitat and Restoration fellow here at Save The Bay for the past six weeks. I found out about this opportunity from an elective class I’m taking at school entitled “STOak,” which stands for “Social Transformations in Oakland.”
The year-long course involves researching the history of Oakland, learning about different social movements here, and discussing how the city has changed over time. To make a difference in the community, each student was matched with an Oakland non-profit for a summer internship covering local issues.
I applied to Save The Bay because I’d enjoyed a previous experience volunteering for the organization, and I was inspired by the way its staff focus on restoration while simultaneously supporting policies that benefit the Bay. A key part of Save The Bay’s mission is to educate the community about the Bay and the threats it faces, and during my time here I’ve had the opportunity to help lead multiple education programs. These events teach students from around the Bay Area about tidal marshlands, providing them with hands-on activities by the water and in nurseries. In exploring Bay wetlands with staff and students, I now have an even deeper understanding of plant propagation and maintenance (such as weeding, watering, and mulching).
With college on the horizon, I now know that I want to keep learning about environmental science and policy in some way. As my fellowship winds down, I’m even more excited to take AP Environmental Science this year in school. I’m also grateful to have work experience in the non-profit world.
It was really valuable to see how people’s unique backgrounds shape the workplace at Save The Bay. I’ve discovered that although everyone here brings something different to the table, they all have a strong passion for making Oakland and our surrounding environment cleaner and healthier. Their determination makes me eager to consider career options in environmental science and sustainability.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my past six weeks with Save The Bay, and I’m sad to say goodbye to people I’ve met and to wrap up the work I’ve been doing. I know that my experiences here will stick with me into college and beyond, and I’m very grateful that I had this amazing opportunity to spend my summer in such an educational and fulfilling way.
If you’re curious, Save The Bay’s Fellowship program includes other opportunities besides the habitat and restoration work I’ve been doing. Click here to see all the Fellowship possibilities with Save The Bay. I encourage anyone interested to go ahead and apply!