Two to four students from the Summer Institute are recruited to become New Voices Are Rising Fellows during the school year, giving them the opportunity to pursue environmental justice work in greater depth. The students use the skills they learned and the leadership potential they developed, applying it to community capacity-building and outreach projects with New Voices and program partners focused on reducing toxic exposure, addressing climate change, and increasing competency in low-income communities and communities of color to meaningfully engage in environmental decision-making.
Most Recent Fellows of the 2017-2018 School Year
Rosesanie Phan is a senior at Oakland Technical High School. She is a talented writer with a gift for telling compelling stories. Nervous speaking in front of groups, she nonetheless can silence a room when she tells of her grandmother rescuing four of her children from Kmer Rouge work camps in Cambodia, or leading the family to safety through minefields along the Thailand/Cambodia border. Rosesanie first joined New Voices as a student in the 2016 Summer Climate Justice Leadership Academy, and returned in 2017 as a peer leader. “New Voices helped me deal with my anxiety. It forced me to do things – like speak at public meetings – that I hated at the time; but now I can talk in front of people without freaking out. New Voices gives students a chance to be involved in shaping policy and to actually have a voice.”
|Artkinlee Sulit was nine years old when he moved to Oakland from the Philippines. Now a junior at Oakland’s Skyline High School, Artkinlee would like his city to be cleaner and healthier than the Oakland he sees around him. “The Philippines is a poor country, so pollution there is not surprising. But here in Oakland there’s too much contrast between the clean professional buildings and the trash on the streets right outside.” A fan of hands-on activities, Artkinlee says, “I like New Voices because it’s a way to actually do something, not just sit in a classroom.”|
|Jada Delaney likes to be the “go-to person” in any group she’s in. As a competitive golfer in her senior year at Oakland Tech’s Engineering Academy, Jada explained that being dependable and helpful is “something that we stress in my golf program… regardless of your skill set or abilities you can always provide something for someone else.” Jada is aiming for a career in architecture after she finishes college. “Working with New Voices, I realized you can advance environmental justice through architecture and green infrastructure. Sustainable housing shouldn’t be something that’s just for the wealthy. There are ways we can apply sustainable design to affordable housing and low-income communities.”