Category: Impact Stories

Kyra Brown: More Than Just a Bench
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Kyra Brown: More Than Just a Bench

Kyra Brown had been working at Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), a social justice and environmental justice organization, when her boss suggested the Community Advocates Leadership Academy (CALA).  “Oh, hey look. Is this something you’re interested in?” she quotes. “I had never heard of CALA, but when I saw the words ‘community advocates,’ I...

Ray Larios: Leading from the Back, For Now
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Ray Larios: Leading from the Back, For Now

Author: David Simon “You don’t just gain knowledge; you gain wisdom,” says Ray Larios of his experience in the 2020 Community Advocates Leadership Academy (CALA) cohort. Before applying to CALA, Ray was getting settled in his role with the Citizens Advisory Committee for Peninsula Clean Energy, and he thought CALA would be a good fit...

Cheryl Weiden: Small but Mighty Steps for Climate Action
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Cheryl Weiden: Small but Mighty Steps for Climate Action

A self-described “worker bee,” Cheryl has a vision for getting across the climate protection finish line through small but mighty local actions. The advocacy skills Cheryl learned through the Leadership Academy in 2017 – including speaking to elected officials, creating coalitions, mentoring others to advocate – have been instrumental in her success so far.

Alexii Sigona: Partnerships for Indigenous Sovereignty
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Alexii Sigona: Partnerships for Indigenous Sovereignty

Through the Leadership Academy, Alexii learned how to connect with local governments and persuade electeds in service of his tribe. He believes that tribal governments could be more influential than they currently are and wants to see them take their power back as legitimate and equal peers to local governments. He envisions a future where indigenous communities lead decision-making that affects the health of their homelands.

Trina Hineser: Lifting Others Into Leadership Roles
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Trina Hineser: Lifting Others Into Leadership Roles

For Trina, the most gratifying part of her work has been facilitating connections that bring people together to find solutions to issues big and small. This is serving her well in her new Executive Director role, working collaboratively with other agencies and organizations like Green Foothills to protect the natural habitats and agricultural lands of Santa Clara County.

Deb Kramer: Becoming a More Efficient Community Organizer
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Deb Kramer: Becoming a More Efficient Community Organizer

Deb joined the Leadership Academy to improve her understanding of the political process and how city staff and agencies interact with nonprofits. She feels the Leadership Academy is influencing her daily work to create an urban open space park in Coyote Meadows. For Deb, the most powerful part of the program was creating her own mission and vision statement to keep her focused on why she does what she does and how she goes about doing it.

Uriel Hernandez: Speaking Up for My Community
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Uriel Hernandez: Speaking Up for My Community

Thanks to the Leadership Academy, Uriel is more committed than ever to staying engaged and speaking up for the changes he wants to see. He knows it’s up to him as a community member to show up and keep the pressure on government so they know people care. Uriel is already starting to be recognized for his leadership on environmental issues. In March 2017 he received Bay Nature’s Local Hero award for Youth Engagement.

Violet Saena: Reaffirmed Passion
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Violet Saena: Reaffirmed Passion

Within the Leadership Academy, Violet found the support and network to help those who most need it. She says it reaffirmed her passion to work on climate change and build community resilience. Recently, she founded her own non-profit, which cultivates environmental awareness and builds stronger alliances between communities in East Palo Alto and Belle Haven.

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You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to our Protect Coyote Valley website.

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You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to our Protect Coyote Valley website.

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You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to the Protect Juristac website.

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You are leaving the Green Foothills website to go to our 2021 CALA Application.