Hope for the Decade
On December 31, we joined Mayor de Blasio to drop the New Year’s Eve ball to begin a new decade, broadcast live to millions around the world.
Our Environmental Science teacher, Dr. Jared Fox — a recipient of the 2019 Sloan Teaching Award presented by the Fund for the City of New York — stood with us. We were invited because of our work addressing climate change and environmental injustice.
When we stood on stage, we were both nervous and proud. We thought of our lives and our families; how none of our parents attended college or, for some of them, even high school or middle school. Nonetheless, there we were, preparing to drop the Waterford Crystal Ball and ring in 2020, the year we will graduate from high school and enroll in college.
We never thought it was possible to have these opportunities, yet we have pride in knowing that we represent those from Latinx backgrounds who have had to overcome so much to make their voices heard.
At the Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), a NYC Outward Bound School that serves pre-K-12 students in upper Manhattan, we have launched a project called the Clean Air Green Corridor. Our vision is to transform 182nd Street from Amsterdam Avenue to Broadway, providing thousands access to Highbridge Park. The park is often overlooked and underutilized, but nonetheless, is an essential ribbon of green space on the perimeter of our neighborhood. The Clean Air Green Corridor will serve as a link to this “Anchor Park” currently riddled with homeless encampments and individuals struggling with opioid addiction. Along our newly envisioned Corridor, trees and plants will purify the air, provide shade, and combat the effects of an urban heat island. Besides our own, there are five other schools that we hope will join us to help form this passageway to our local park.
On December 31, we joined Mayor de Blasio to drop the New Year’s Eve ball to begin a new decade, broadcast live to millions around the world. Our Environmental Science teacher, Dr. Jared Fox...