Club Profile: Local Leaders

Leila Touati, Senior Editor

Local Leaders is a club focused on local and global environmental issues that aid students in understanding environmental policies. The advisor the club is Ms. Robyn Fewster, one of the AP Environmental Science and Biology teachers at Amador. Local Leaders also receives help from the Go Green Initiative.

“The Go Green Initiative is a nonprofit organization founded by one of our advisors, Ms. Jill Buck, and the project manager Celine Leroudier. Those two, they help us a lot with different parts of the club, the different projects that our different groups go over, they also run summer internships, but most importantly they’re always there for us in terms of finding connections and finding opportunities for us to advocate and to have the funds to carry through some of our plans” said Local Leaders Vice-president  Cassandra Ying (‘21).

Local Leaders thrives on small groups, different paths that the club takes for environmentalism. There are four small groups in total: Video Media, Journalism, Social Media, and Fundraising. 

“Video media is newer, mainly because of shelter in place, we’ve had to shift a lot of our events, and that’s basically what is revolves around. So one-half of the small group would be creating webinars and Instagram Live events where people discuss, talk about environmental issues, and reach out and get people to start talking about these problems. We’re also going to be creating video essays, also some more fun environmental activities that’ll get people locally to understand how they can change their lifestyles to be more environmentally savvy, and also to get a better sense of what local issues environmentally that they can take a part in, and that’s a core value that all small groups touch on in different ways,” said Local Leaders President Collin Wang (‘21).

Each small group focuses on certain areas of marketing and communications to further their understanding of environmental activism as well as advocate for changes involving their four core values: water, energy, food, and waste.

“The journalism small group this year mainly focuses on our newsletter and blogs, so our newsletter is going to be sent out to all of our club members and even potentially some other people. We’re going to include many sections like current events and club reports and blogs and we’re going to have club-wide surveys. We might even promote the fundraising group’s sustainable shop products on there and so that way it keeps our members in touch of what the other branches of the club is doing,” said Local Leaders Technologies Officer Riley Chou (‘21).

The small group of social media helps Amador students realize their affects on the environment and make minute changes in their routine to help the environment as well as advertises their club meetings and small group opportunities. They are divided into two teams: sustainability media and educational outreach.

“Our main social media platform is Instagram so everything kind of revolves around Instagram, because that’s where most teens are. For sustainability media we have plans to continue Sustainability Sunday, where every Sunday we post a hack or a sustainability tip by the hashtag sustainability sunday just so people can learn and adapt those tips and hacks. We want to have more interactive posts like Instagram challenges, we have some ideas like Meatless Mondays or sustainability spirit week where we just want to promote user engagement,” said Local Leaders PR Officer Sanika Newadkar (‘22).

The educational outreach team is focused on educating students about environmental policies and local and global issues through social media.

“We had to make a lot of changes because of shelter in place, and obviously social media plays a big role in that. The educational outreach group is going to push out designs that we create on Canva, which is our main designing platform. It’s basically to teach people about environmentalism and sustainability and how they can work on those things from home, like Sanika mentioned it’s about user engagement and interaction,” said Local Leaders Communications and Outreach Officer Ela Kulkarni (‘21).

The fundraising small group manages funds for group projects and markets their products from their student-run store.

“With fundraising, what we are mainly doing is starting a student-run store; It’s club activity outside of school. Because we have Go Green we can rely on them to manage our funds largely and what we’re attempting to do is sell sustainable products like reusable bags, metal straws, and clothing and apparel, with designs commissioned from Amador. Local Leaders has been involved in a lot of things all around campus, trying to change things like the bin system, last year we bought new recycling bins for teachers too with the grant money we got so we would want to repurpose our funds first and foremost to locally help our environmental stability and beyond that, probably also funding charities and stuff so that’s what fundraising is doing right now,” said Local Leaders Club Treasurer Derry Xu (‘21). 

The small groups of Local Leaders are infinitely intertwined and members of the club are welcome to put their skills to good use in a way that will help the club go above and beyond in helping others understand environmentalism in Pleasanton as well as all over the world.

“The goal of Local Leaders has always been to offer opportunities to people who can showcase their strength in different ways, so that’s kind of what we do with all of our small groups,” said Ying.

Local Leaders has a place for everyone, and new members need no past experience or environmental knowledge needed to join the club.

“If someone walks in with skills in something then it will probably fall under some kind of small group, some kind of activity they do and they can pursue whatever they’d like. We don’t want to restrain anyone it’s just the nature of the club, very open,” said Collin Wang.

Once students join the club, they can find what interests them the most, simply by trying everything out. Members of Local Leaders have the flexibility to change what interests them the more time they spend in the club to find their path.

“In fact a lot of people who join the club, when they come they don’t really know what they’re going to get involved in. Sometimes some people don’t really care about the environment that much because they don’t really have a perspective on how they can do something to change it and some people do not understand how local government works. It changes peoples’ minds. I would say no, you don’t need any experience to join,” said Local Leaders Club Secretary Amy Wang (‘21).

Local Leaders influences students to make changes for Pleasanton that will affect the district for the better, with support from the community and groups.

“I think I got inspired by our community to actually do something, because I saw how much people in our community actually cared and wanted to step up and wanted to help us achieve our goal in sustainability by doing things like focus groups, by showing up to support us at school board meetings. I guess the community was supporting us the entire way, along with Go Green of course. Seeing them do that for us makes me want to continue with all of our goals for them,” said Ying.

The club has always pushed past their obstacles, such as shelter in place, and recovered quickly to continue their mission of finding sustainable solutions to old environmental problems.

“I’d like to really emphasize the whole community aspect of the club, I have to say that after being in the club for almost three years it hasn’t been perfect of course, we’ve definitely had our ups and downs, our bumps in the road, shelter in place being one of them, we’ve definitely had some work-arounds. Small groups changed, but it’s always been the sense of like teamwork collaboration and people genuinely having a compassion and interest in saving the environment and working together, I never really got that sense of going downhill in the club, it’s always been a kind of uplifting spirit,” said Collin Wang.

Communication is made easy to ask questions, sign up, and share ideas with Local Leaders. 

“We have a Discord that we just made and new members are joining this place where they can really quickly communicate with everybody. We also have Trello, which is a place where we collect all our ideas for our projects. We have our website where we post our blogs and any updates with our club, so information about us and our history. They can just email us or message us on Instagram,” said Amy Wang.

Local Leader’s Instagram handle is @avlocaleaders, where old and new members can follow for information for club meetings along with links to their remind, email, and a linktree to sign up for the club.

“The easiest way to join and get in the loop, like Amy said, there’s Discord, Trello, there’s a lot of things. I suggest first and foremost where you can formally sign up for the club you can go on our Instagram,” said Collin Wang. 

Meet the 2020-2021 Officers!