Two Green Teens, Lucero and Wendy will be packing their bags and headed to New York City this December to attend the Keep America Beautiful Vision Award Luncheon. Due to their amazing leadership, dedication to service, and extensive participation in the Green Teens program these youth have been selected to be Keep Austin Beautiful Green Teens Ambassadors on the national stage. At the luncheon, they will share their stories alongside CEO Michael Dell as he accepts a Keep America Beautiful “Vision for America” Award. The award is in recognition of Dell’s sustainability initiatives in communities nationally – Dell executives created a 2020 Legacy of Good Plan, outlining 21 social and sustainability goals to reach by 2020.
In addition to modeling sustainable initiatives, Dell has made a significant investment in communities locally, nationally, and internationally to put technology and expertise to work, where it can do the most good for people and the planet. With Dell support, Keep Austin Beautiful’s Green Teens program has grown significantly and made a lasting impact among Austin teens while successfully integrating technology into the program framework.
Lucero Castaneda is a senior at William B. Travis High School in Austin and has been a Keep Austin Beautiful Green Teen for three years and is still an active participant. Her favorite activities as a Green Teen have been working to replant Bastrop State Park after a wildfire burned 96% of the park, camping, and teaching her family and classmates about the environment. Lucero is currently the Student Council President, a photographer for the yearbook, and is a member of the National Honor Society. She attributes her experiences with Green Teens for improving her photography skills and for allowing her to develop as a leader in her community. She aspires to become a neurosurgeon.
Wendy Rodriguez became a Keep Austin Beautiful Green Teen in 2012. Through her involvement in Green Teens, Wendy discovered that she doesn’t need to leave the city to enjoy the outdoors. As a Green Teen, her favorite activities included restoring the school garden, identifying plants in the nearby preserve, and teaching others. She was awarded a Keep Austin Beautiful internship, during which she led outdoor and environmental activities for younger youth. She credits the use of Dell tablets to research native plants with improving her research abilities and helping her be successful in school. Green Teens taught her that being involved in the community was important. While Wendy keeps a busy school schedule, she continues to volunteer and maintain strong bonds with the friends she made in the club. Wendy is currently a freshman at Texas State University and is on track to enter the nursing program.
While in New York City, the teens will observe other environmental education programs and spend three days visiting local attractions and enjoy the many other features unique to New York City. Stay tuned for their adventures in early December.