The South Bay Team, made up of 7 Student Eco-Leaders from four schools through-out the Southern California South Bay, have become a consistent staple in Grades of Green Campaigns. Having grown along with Grades of Green, student leaders like Sophia and Isaiah began as Youth Corps students and have evolved into Co-leaders of the South Bay Team as Grades of Green launched Campaigns. This past week,the South Bay Team was recognized by the City of Manhattan Beach City Council for their work in the 2018 Water Campaign and 2019 Waste Campaign, along with Grandview Elementary, Meadows Elementary, Pennekamp Elementary and Mira Costa High School student leaders.

Sophia began working with Grades of Green as a fourth grader championing the Trash-Free Lunch program. In 2012, she worked with a classmate to present at the Green California Schools Summit and Exposition. In middle school and high school, she developed lesson plans for an environmental education club and led classroom discussions at her former elementary school. Sophia has been a Grades of Green Eco-Leader for over 7 years.

As a Youth Corps student, Isaiah was profoundly interested in the birds that are indigenous to Western United States and Southern California. His research led him to develop a better understanding of natural landscaping and he proceeded to lead habitat restoration for the Western Bluebird and educated his community on the importance of natural landscaping. Isaiah was recognized by the Los Angeles Lakers for his outstanding environmental work and received the Community Champion of the Month Award. Isaiah aspires to continue elevating his sustainability initiatives, and will be studying Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania starting in the fall.

During the 2018 Water Campaign, The South Bay Team focused on reducing urban water run-off and won an Eco-Grant valued at $500, their sustainability initiative was judged “Best Innovative Idea” by a panel of environmental experts. In the 2019 Waste Campaign, the team concentrated on Food Waste reduction and educated their community on backyard and commercial composting and food waste recycling. You can follow The South Bay Team on Instagram @SouthBay_Team.

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Student stories like these are made possibly thanks to generous sponsors like Kings Care Foundation, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Los Angeles 4th District, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Long Beach Water, LAcarGuy Family Of Dealerships, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Southern California Edison, Long Beach Community Foundation, Los Angeles County 3rd District, Carton Council, Johnson Ohana Foundation, The Boeing Company, Subaru Pacific, Downtown Manhattan Beach Business & Professionals Association, West Coast Event Productions, Grand View PTA, Optima Energy, Continental Development, and Klean Kanteen.