What is SOAR?

SOAR Eco-Innovation Academy is a forward-thinking program that empowers motivated high school students to lead with an environmental mindset. With mentorship and real-world guidance from Grades of Green staff and corporate partners, these students will collaborate together to help develop and drive better environmental standards and outcomes for industries today and for generations to come. Students will emerge from the program with a broad view of global environmental issues through a corporate lens and will prepare to enter college or the workforce with diverse, sustainable, and innovative perspectives.

SOAR is taking off! Join a diverse group of eco-conscious high school peers in the Los Angeles area who can dedicate 5-10 hours per month to this academy. Discover a vast array of industries and the environmental impact they make and gain knowledge to develop and drive better environmental standards, impacts and outcomes.

SOAR Tours

SOAR gives students the unique opportunity to tour the locations of corporate partners! Check out some of our most recent tours with our current cohort.

Alta Sea

Our SOAR Eco-Innovation Academy kicked off its second year at AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles! SOAR Academy students toured their facility, which brings together a collection of ocean innovators who collaborate in research and development. Students had a ton of fun learning about RCAM Technologies, the USC Sustainable Seaweed Aquaculture Lab, Eco Wave Power, and even got the opportunity to operate marine robots.

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is dedicated to accelerating scientific collaboration, advancing an emerging blue economy through business innovation and job creation, and inspiring the next generation, all for a more sustainable, just and equitable world. 

Northrop Grumman

SOAR students had a blast on the tour of the Northrop Grumman Space Park facilities. They enjoyed hearing about how Northrop identifies and manages sustainability in their programs with green spaces, reclaimed water, and sustainable career pathways! Our Grades of Green students even got to step foot in the Space Museum to explore the history of Northrop Grumman. During our tour, we spoke to a panel of three employees who work in sustainability to learn more about how Northrop is launching innovative ideas to put sustainability at the forefront of aerospace engineering.

Beyond Meat

Next, our SOAR students had the experience of a lifetime at the Beyond Meat Headquarters. They spoke with the CEO of Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown, about the impacts that consuming meat has on our planet and health! Students enjoyed touring the color laboratory, where scientists conduct experiments to recreate the color of meat on plant-based meat. They donned aprons and assisted Beyond Meat chefs in the kitchen, cooking up (and eating) delicious meals like plant-based cheeseburgers, tacos, and empanadas.

Build CA at SoFi Stadium

Kicking off the second corporate tour, SOAR students toured SoFi Stadium with Turner Construction and Build California. They got a behind-the-scenes look at how SoFi Stadium diverts waste, reclaims water, and keeps its 70,000 guests cool without the use of air conditioning. Structures like SoFi Stadium inspire our SOAR students to think sustainably about large construction projects. We are excited to see the ideas they build to push sustainability even further in this industry!

Further Products

In Phase 2 of the SOAR Student Flight Plan, our students began corporate tours, learning about industry issues to aid in the development of a sustainability plan to create systemic change. Further Products, a family-owned and operated business that upcycles restaurant grease into biodiesel and uses the glycerin byproduct to make soap, lotion, and candles, hosted the first tour for our SOAR students. Students learned how Further Products promotes the idea of a circular economy, where materials and products are regenerated and recycled for as long as possible.

Are You Ready to Soar?

Join a passionate group of peers to realize your environmental potential and create a greener, healthier future for generations to come. 

Applications for the 2024-2025 cohort are now open, click here to apply