My Summer Interning with Committee for Green Foothills

Our Burlingame Shoreline Park petition signature gathering got a big boost this month with the help of Verona Teo, Mia Jerphagnon, and Jackson Boro. These three summer interns have been instrumental in our community outreach efforts to send a strong message to Governor Newsom, the Burlingame City Council, and the State Lands Commission that a nature park along the shoreline is preferred over another hotel. We are grateful for their efforts and wish them all well in the school year ahead.

Mia Jerphagnon wrote about her experience and her reasons for interning with Committee for Green Foothills.


As a young girl, I walked along the Bay Trail in Foster City. I fondly remember the delicious fresh air and the calming sounds of the waves. The open space and surrounding nature gave me a sense of peace. Sadly, I fear that open spaces such as from my memory are disappearing.

As the Bay Area continues to rapidly develop, communities are losing space to enjoy nature. This is why the Committee for Green Foothills started a petition to illustrate support for all open space versus a hotel on the San Francisco Bay in Burlingame.

This summer, I worked on drawing attention to the petition and the need for open space. If you care about nature and open space like me, you can make your voice heard by signing the petition online. Your signature will help preserve all nine acres of this site as a natural, restoration park in a planning area where there are already 14 hotels, but only 1% of open space left.

My first job experience is one I will cherish forever thanks to the support of Committee for Green Foothills’ Legislative Advocate Helen Wolter and the camaraderie of my fellow interns. Meeting new people, listening to their stories, learning of their concerns, engaging them in a purposeful discussion, and then encouraging them to consider supporting this cause has improved my communication skills.

It also helped me overcome my nervousness when talking to strangers. Once, a sweet, elderly lady handed me a business card with the word “hugs” on the front, and the words “pass it on” on the back. Her kindness inspired the change in me and to be even kinder and more thoughtful towards strangers. From then on, I greeted people with a “Good morning!” or “How are you doing?” before I explained the petition.

I feel grateful for my experience with Committee for Green Foothills and the broader understanding and appreciation for my community that I gained. Having completed my internship, I am now starting my junior year of high school. The school year will be challenging with standardized tests and college applications. As I think of my future, I do not know exactly what I want to do or who I want to be professionally, but I know this: I want to help people and use my communication skills to connect with others, no matter where I end up in life.

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