A group of about 40 Corpsmembers in our Clean & Green Program were the first to experience the new LEAP initiative, launched earlier this month. LEAP, or the Learning Environmental Awareness Program (named by a Corpsmember in a naming contest), is the new environmental education and field studies program that Corpsmembers will participate in once a week for two-hour immersive environmental sessions and field excursions. LEAP participants will learn about climate change through a culturally inclusive environmental justice perspective, encompassing a myriad of connected community issues. They will explore the environment through climate change, land use, fossil fuels, the Earth’s imbalanced nutrient cycles, urbanization, resulting socioeconomic groups’ varying health disparities, the role of advocacy, LA’s Sustainability Plan, its watershed, and its river.
“It was fun to learn something new about the environment that I didn’t know. I’m looking forward to the LEAP programs.” – CORPSMEMBER DIEGO
The LEAP curriculum aims to foster environmental consciousness by providing tools of empowerment for Corpsmembers to develop a clear understanding of their place within the interconnected environmental issues that affect their communities, while exposing them to potential future career opportunities that build off their skills as workers and students. LEAP is led by Environmental Education Coordinator Paola Flores, who was once a Corpsmember as a youth.
“The biggest thing I want Corpsmembers to take away from LEAP is HOPE. HOPE that this world can be different if we inform ourselves of the realities and allow ourselves to envision something different. HOPE that each one of them can have an impact that positively affects the world. HOPE that they can succeed, achieve, and change their communities for the better.” – PAOLA FLORES, LEAP COORDINATOR