Reno-Tahoe Fellows Recognized with Scholarship and Award

Reno-Tahoe Action Fellows

Last week, Reno-Tahoe ACE Action Fellows Alicia Wong and Kimberly Garcia were honored by Soroptimist International of Truckee Meadows (SITM) for their leadership and accomplishments with the Idle-Free Schools campaign.

Alicia Wong received the Unsung Hero Award and Kimberly Garcia received a $3,000 college scholarship.

For the Unsung Hero award, SITM cited Alicia’s leadership as two-year president of her school’s green club, the Reed High Eco Warriors. As president, Alicia supported her club in a range of accomplishments, including installing a water-bottle refilling station, winning recycling bins for her school through a Coca-Cola / Keep America Beautiful grant, holding annual Earth Week events and making her school an Idle-Free School. Alicia has had a measurable impact on her school: saving over 35,000 single-use water bottles from being used and reducing engine idling outside her school by 63%. As an ACE Action Fellow, Alicia has also presented before the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees and the Washoe County Board of Health, as well as lobbied Nevada state senators about the importance of energy efficiency.

For her scholarship award, SITM recognized Kimberly’s work in making not only her own school Idle-Free, but also a neighboring elementary school. Kim gave an all-school assembly at the elementary school about the benefits of not idling your vehicle. She also organized an art contest for the students, where students submitted drawings about what they had learned about idling. As an ACE Action Fellow, Kimberly traveled to Sacramento where she testified before the EPA to support a strong nationwide ozone standard that would improve air quality in the Reno area. She also lobbied Nevada state senators about energy efficiency.

Salma Valadez, another ACE student and senior at Sparks High, also received an SITM scholarship. Salma has been president of the Sparks High Environmental Club since her sophomore year and also worked to make her school an Idle-Free School.

From all of us at ACE, congratulations to Alicia, Kimberly and Salma on their awards and scholarships. We can’t wait to see what great things you’ll do next.

Rebecca Anderson

Rebecca Anderson is ACE’s Director of Education. She came to ACE in its inception in 2008. Rebecca develops ACE's science content, manages the online climate education resource Our Climate Our Future, oversees the ACE Teacher Network, and works with schools in the Reno-Tahoe area. Prior to ACE, she did paleoclimate research in the Arctic and Antarctica.