Shailee Samar is a senior at Monta Vista High School who wanted to end her high school environmental activism with a bang. She brought her Walk-One-Week (WOW) activity to 15 schools and has now created a fun mobile app called Enchanted Earth. ACE is inspired by her and looks forward to building on her successes by preparing the next climate leaders at her high school.
Walking has a hallowed place in history - from Martin Luther King’s freedom march to Gandhi’s march to the sea. Walking is something that is distinctly human, something everyone can do. However, most kids are driven to school, leading to an increase in pollution and obesity. I figured, encouraging students to walk would be a great way to celebrate Earth Day.
My name is Shailee, and I'm a senior at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA. Over the past six years, I’ve been working to convince students to walk for the environment through fun activities.
In 7th grade, I created the Walk-One-Week (WOW) activity that encouraged students to walk and win prizes such as smoothies, movies, and games. After 200 brand new walkers at my middle school, I worked with the Cupertino Teen Commission to expand Walk-One-Week to 11 Cupertino elementary, middle, and high schools with funding from the City Council. Last November, 700 students of my high school walked to win hot chocolate and raised $3,000 for our school.
I wanted to expand this movement beyond my city. 15 schools across 4 Bay Area cities participated in my Walk-One-Week WOW program during Earth Week!
That meant nearly 3,000 new students, saving almost $6,000 from gas, 6K hours of parents’ time saved, 30k less pounds of C02 in the air, and 1.5 million calories burnt. That indeed was WOW! Here is a video link: http://vimeo.com/86852134.
Inspired by the success of the WOW program, I have been working to build this "Enchanted Earth" mobile app that introduces kids to green habits through stories and animations about fantasy creatures such as mermaids, goblins, and dragons. I am excited to share that I am releasing my free Enchanted Earth mobile app (http://ourgreengalaxy.org/app.php)!
I look forward to having ACE come to my school in the fall to continue where I left off and inspire the next wave of students using their creative to deal with climate change and community health issues.