New Voices are Rising Summer Externship at LCEA

(07/2020) Hello, my name is Qin He, 20 years old and I am a POD leader for New Voices Are Rising (NVAR) and wrapping up my externship with the Local Clean Energy Alliance (LCEA) this summer. The vision for our NVAR summer program is to teach high school students in Oakland about environmental and social justice to build the next generation of environmental leaders. Tim Little and Jill Ratner founded this grassroot organization in hopes to change and evoke movement for legislation and policies from the bottom-up. 

As a previous intern in 2018, I reconciled my relations with New Voices and have decided to use this time to reach out and pass my knowledge onto the next group of youth. We have different themes of justice for each week following EJ & Energy, Food, Air, Housing, Water and ending it with a round of Community Summit projects.
In attending UCLA, my interests have turned to pursue further studies in environmental law with my Environmental Science major with Systems and Society minor. Although it was the policy and legislation side of things that drew me to Local Clean Energy Alliance, I can happily say that I have learned and expanded my horizons to sections of energy democratization, state-run utility facilities, and even a bonus of indigenous sentiments. Dabbling in webinars and discussion with East Bay Clean Power Alliance, Reclaim our Power Utility Justice, and Movement Generation has made me realize I was missing a whole field of information despite attaching myself to environmental science since high school. It was a lot of fun seeing people bicker back and forth because it just meant that they were trying to find the best fit for each scenario. Even though the summer externship time felt quite short, I was able to delve into topics enough that I could grasp the flow of discussions.
I just wanted to say thank you to the Local Clean Energy Alliance for letting me into this space and guiding me along the way. I was certainly lost the first couple of days, but you guys were patient and supportive of my thoughts and questions. The rest of my summer will probably be picking up some new and old hobbies like languages, something artistic, and a worthwhile read. In assuming that my externship will end around the same time as everyone else, I still hope I can keep on schedule with the weekly meetings until further notice as there is still much for me to know.