Alexa Boghosian, Los Angeles, CA, 16 years old.
Alexa goes to the Marlborough School and is the founder of Green Teens. Green Teens won a $2,500 grant from ACE to develop their own curriculum for a 2 week, four-part after school program to be delivered to local public elementary schools. The $2,500 grant is enough for them to reach 30 schools over a 3 year period! The group teaches sustainability and conservation lessons to 2nd and 3rd graders about sustainability and stewardship.
The Green Teens, also developed a schoolyard safari where they take the kids around the school property and give them donated digital cameras to document examples of things that are beautiful and things that are destructive. The following week they make collages of the images. The activity had clearly personalized sustainability for these kids. For the first time, they weren’t just thinking of littering as bad for the earth (not a big motivator for most 2nd and 3rd graders), but as something that made their school dirty and ugly. And they paid attention to the little flowers that sprout from the cracked pavement and the mural painted by former students.
Alexa was so eager to spread this initiative to other schools, that she tells the story how hard it had been to get permission to come to LAUSD schools. She explained that to get into one school, she called the same school administrator every day for a month. Finally the woman told her that she could bring the program to the school so long as she stopped calling! Alexa said that she knows her program leads to real change. She told the story of a young boy who came in saying environmental stuff is for losers. At the end of the 2 weeks, he said “I changed my mind, nature is cool.”