Seven graduates from Amador Valley High School and Foothill High School earned scholarships for their active participation in Pleasanton's Local Leaders of the 21st Century program and environmental leadership in the community.
The seniors who received scholarships are Mikayla Johnstone (UCSB, biological anthropology) and Alan Wang (UC Davis, chemistry) from Foothill High School, and Alena Gagnon (Santa Clara University, political science and biology), Aditi Karthik (UCLA, cognitive science and environmental science), Amanda Liu (UCSD, urban planning and environmental policy), Victoria Liu (Rice University, bio-engineering) and Regina Rajbanshi (UC Davis, biomedical engineering) from Amador Valley High School.
The recipients earned their scholarships from the Go Green Initiative, located in Pleasanton. It promotes environmental stewardship on school campuses and is the global leader in commencing different types of environmental action plans for schools in an all-inclusive manner.
"Starting local with our own Pleasanton community is what matters the most to me," said scholarship awardee Victoria Liu. "I remind myself, through every local action that I take to spread awareness, everything ultimately adds up in the long run."
The Local Leaders were awarded for their work to conserve natural resources in the community. They conducted outreach programs on environmental issues across Pleasanton through the program's network of extracurricular clubs dedicated to advancing sustainability in their schools and community.
"(I'm most proud of the club's work to) share the urgency of organic waste contamination as well as bond with the residents of our community," said Johnstone, Foothill Local Leaders president. "(My time with Local Leaders helped me) develop a deeper understanding of why it is imperative that communities work together to achieve the best outcomes."
Partnering with the city of Pleasanton, Pleasanton Unified School District and Pleasanton Garbage Service, the 2022-23 seniors led a community education series for Pleasanton residents, hosted tours at the Materials Recovery Facility, provided training to elementary school students, tracked their schools' waste output and more. Through their leadership, they've spread key messages on waste reduction and relevant regulations to those in the community.
"(My experience in the Amador Local Leaders club was about) creating a community -- bringing together people with different sets of skills, identifying their strengths, and helping them become leaders in their own space," said Amador Local Leaders President Aditi Karthik. "Local Leaders is something that has defined my high school years and my character, and I have grown so much as a part of this club."
Visit www.GoGreenInitiative.org for more information about the Go Green Initiative and its programs.