Looking to the Future

"Start it yourself. Be that trendsetter."

The students at the YES conference shared their ideas for the future, representing a wide variety of plans, hopes and dreams. Cassandra Lanphere and Dylan Perrish are both thinking about the Navy as a career path. They were alerted to the conference by their teacher at Antioch High School, who is working on the GLOBE international database.

Other students from Antioch High at the event included Priscilla Huff, a senior who wants to be a nurse and is planning to attend Los Medanos Community College and Ananda Brooks, a senior considering a career as a cardiovascular or cosmetic surgeon (all too aware that she has “a lot more school ahead of me, but it's cool!"). Both are members of the Environmental Science Academy at their school, and their advice for any young person wanting to express passion for any cause is to “be that person to be the change. Start a green club, start an EarthTeam. Don't let the fact that not many people are into it stop you. Start it yourself. Be that trendsetter."

Two Bay Area students who followed this advice are Afaf Alghazali and Roxana Garcia, both EarthTeam interns and juniors at Richmond High School. They both hope to study sports medicine in college, with minors in environmental studies.

Other career plans represented at the conference were architecture (Ashley Bides) and law (Kiana Sunga). Bides and Sunga both attend American Canyon High School and hope to incorporate environmental aspects into these professions. Bides urges other students to "go to events like this. Be more educated." 

Exhibitors and special events at the conference also gave the students ideas for the future. Among the tables exhibitors were the Peace Corps, Hostelling International USA, Cowgirl Bike Courier and Green Ninja.

In the garage, two workshops ran throughout the day that hoped to make long-term impact on the students' future choices. Learn to Wrench on Your Bicycle was presented by Bay Area BikeMobile, and it gave conference attendees a chance to master the skill of changing a flat tire and to diagnose and repair mystery problems with brakes, shifters and frame alignment. The Electric Vehicle Showcase also ran in the garage all day, put on by the Golden Gate Electric Vehicle Association. The organization hopes to convince students of the benefits of electric cars on climate change, pollution and gas costs.

Geena Espinoza, a junior from Santa Rosa High School who is president of her school's Eco Club, was Master of Ceremonies for the day. In her closing speech, she stressed, "Let us remember that our planet needs us just as much as we need it.”

For those students interested in careers in transportation, MTC is currently recruiting for summer internships. The deadline to apply is May 23. Read more about the type of work these students do here, and apply here.