“Nature is our treasure, help save it.” – Anonymous
Last month, Reality Changers students gave back to our beautiful San Diego landscape by cleaning along the San Diego Watershed. The Watershed in San Diego County runs east to west for about 52 miles starting in the Cuyamaca Mountains. According to the 2010 Census about 520,000 residents live along the river’s edge. Given the dense population, the river suffers from human-induced pollutants affecting the San Diego ecosystem. Reality Changers took action with local environmental organizations to reverse the negative effects along the Watershed. Thanks to our community partners San Diego River Valley Conservancy and I Love A Clean San Diego, we learned the importance of taking responsibility in the community.
At Reality Changers, we ascribe to the Tightrope Theory which gives a positive spin to students’ negative circumstance. You might be wondering what this has to do with conservation. Let us tell you! During program when staff want to motivate students to pick up their trash, rather than saying, “pick up your trash,” we say, “take responsibility” because our community needs everyone to do their part. And in September we did just that. Our students took the responsibility concept to our own county.
For the first time in Reality Changers’ history, our Solana Beach students went to Julian with the San Diego River Valley Conservancy. Youth learned about the importance of land, water, and wildlife conservation. Our service brought us further down the watershed to Cooper Canyon in City Heights. We joined forces with I Love A Clean San Diego, Ocean Discovery Institute and San Diego Canyonlands for a morning of clearing debris and shrubbery. Youth cleared old car engines, a bike, a tire, and whole lots of flammable overgrowth. We even helped a lost puppy find its owner. Collectively, our youth completed over 200 hours of community service.
In addition to making our backyard cleaner, we also invested in our professional future. In mid-September, a group of female Reality Changers students went to Girls Rising Career Day downtown to hear from renowned career women. The event was hosted by Grit Movement and Girls Rising. The girls enjoyed an afternoon of workshops, panels, and keynote speakers. Girls Rising helps girls achieve success through our mentoring program by pairing each girl with an individual mentor to serve as a positive, consistent role model in their lives.
For more on Reality Changers’ community service events and what we are doing in the community, check out our past blogs or subscribe to our newsletter. For current posting on our community service weekends visit us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.