This week we welcomed a new member of the STAY COOL team: Ana Reyes. As our summer intern, Ana will perform research related to Climate Action Planning in our communities, help expand our membership, conduct outreach to South County and will assist with a video development project. Learn more about this dynamic addition to our team:
Tell us a little about your background and why you are interested in global warming issues.
My name is Ana Reyes and I was born and raised in the North County area. I grew up playing softball with San Dieguito Youth Softball Association and soccer with Lightning and AYSO. I attended El Camino Creek Elementary, Oak Crest Middle School, and then the amazing San Dieguito Academy. I just recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Geography and Minor in Public Policy and am back for the summer before I head for more adventures in DC!
Global warming and our earth’s changing climate is of interest to me because it affects people’s most crucial and basic rights and necessities, such as access to water, food, and good health. Severe weather conditions also amplify problems and inequalities that already exist, such as air quality, affordable housing, and even job safety. I firmly believe that by addressing issues that are contributing to climate change, we can simultaneously make structural changes that make our way of life sustainable and also more equitable.
Why were you attracted you to the internship opportunity with STAY COOL? What do you most hope to learn?
I decided to work with STAY COOL as an intern because I am eager to learn about and dive into the issues of the place I call home. What I appreciate about STAY COOL is that they focus on how climate change directly affects San Diego County. Not only that, but STAY COOL aims to organize and empower the grandparents and senior population of San Diego to keep their local governments accountable for enacting policies that fight global warming.
What tasks are you looking forward to taking on in your role as an intern with STAY COOL?
I hope to be able to contribute to the organization as best I can! I am looking forward to researching policies (or the lack thereof) in each city so that the members of STAY COOL can stay informed on how to take action, whether it be by changing lifestyle habits or by engaging in political processes. Doing this research gets me excited because I too can become more knowledgeable about how our local governments work. I can also learn from the people that go out of their way to be involved in local politics. STAY COOL also hopes to come out with online videos — a project I am particularly excited for, because filming is always fun! Last, but definitely not least, I look forward to build partnerships between STAY COOL and organizations in southern parts of San Diego County.
What is one major accomplishment you hope to achieve this summer while employed with STAY COOL?
I really hope that I can help bridge communities — between STAY COOL and other organizations with similar missions, and even between our partner organizations and the broader community. I hope that with my language skills, I can help STAY COOL be as accessible as possible to the diverse communities of San Diego, and that these groups would be able to learn from each other about how people in San Diego are being affected by global warming.
How do you feel seniors can make a difference in San Diego when it comes to climate change action?
Generally speaking, seniors tend to have high voting rates and are more likely to participate in political processes, and those who are 65+ make up over 11 percent of San Diego County’s population, so seniors can make a HUGE difference in terms of how San Diego decides to address climate change. By attending city council meetings, or staying informed about local ballot measures and policies, seniors can encourage their friends, family, and community to engage actively in these decision making procedures. If seniors are able to come together, I really think that they can form a vocal and influential presence in the fight against global warming in San Diego.
What do you plan to do in the fall after your internship is complete with STAY COOL?
In the fall after my time with STAY COOL, I will be headed to Washington DC to work with National Geographic, where I will be working with the team that produces educational materials and resources for teachers.
As you can see, we’re lucky to have this stellar intern on board! Ana will be working with STAY COOL through mid-August 2014. Get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.