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 Spring 2011

Change Begins at Home(room)

In July 2009, UCS received two unexpected donations totaling $777 from the Urban School of San Francisco, an independent high school near Golden Gate Park. Intrigued, we contacted the school and learned that its Community Outreach Club wanted to donate to an organization promoting environmental awareness, and had raised the money through bake sales, candy-grams, and a “Tie-Dye for a Cause” event.

The club was “immediately drawn to UCS,” according to its current co-presidents, seniors Sara Brooks and Sarah Maccabee, “because of its comprehensive, creative, and preventative approach to environmental issues. UCS provides answers for how to better our relationship with the environment on both governmental and public levels.”

The club does more than raise money; its 20 members are dedicated to fostering students’ awareness of both local and global issues, and giving students opportunities to address these issues through community service. For instance, last fall the club concentrated on providing support for the nearby community of San Bruno after a fire ripped through the area. The club is also helping with the Urban School’s efforts to make its operations more sustainable, and invited UCS Analyst Laura Wisland to address the school about energy use, the future of energy in California, and ways to reduce global warming emissions.

The Urban School’s Community Outreach Club has raised more than $1,400 for UCS over the last two years and, perhaps more important, is helping students develop leadership skills and teaching them how to effectively engage with the community around them. As Sara and Sarah explain it, these skills will ensure that Urban School students play a “necessary and significant” role in society in the years ahead.