#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Paulina Viera Zambrano

#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Paulina Viera Zambrano

The #BecauseOfYouth Spotlight series highlights young environmentalists in MCE’s service area who are leading the fight against climate change.

Napa native Paulina Viera Zambrano (she/her) has always had a passion for the natural environment. Encouraged by her teacher, she became an active member of the Napa Sierra Club Group, participating in community events and contributing significantly to the club’s newsletters. Paulina envisions a cleaner future through her ambition to become an environmental architect. By integrating environmentally friendly elements into building designs, she aims to create comfortable living spaces while making a positive impact on the natural environment. Paulina believes this path will contribute to a cleaner, greener world.

What type of projects or initiatives have you worked on in your community?

I have been an intern at the Napa Sierra Club Group for a little over a year now and have worked on a variety of projects and events. At an Earth Day event in American Canyon, I distributed information about the Sierra Club and its initiatives for protecting and conserving the natural environment.

I collaborated with two other interns to create a monarch butterfly and climate change awareness presentation for children at two libraries. We three interns are currently working on a new project to create a fire-prevention video for the public.

Additionally, I participated in two pop-up events for the Napa Sierra Club to help spread awareness on the importance of protecting the wetlands at the Wetlands Edge Park located in American Canyon.

I worked with Chris Benz, a retired member of the Executive Committee of the Napa Sierra Club. Chris and I created a presentation on the importance of switching from gas-powered leaf blowers to electric leaf blowers. I also presented and explained the City of Napa Leaf Blower Rebate Program to my classmates at Vintage High School.

For the Napa Sierra Club Newsletter, I wrote an article about my experience at an environmental associated class at Brown University. I hope to continue writing more newsletters about my projects in the future.

Why did you decide to join your organization/club and begin working on community engagement efforts?

I have always had a strong passion for the natural environment and have always been involved in small cleaning groups in my school and in my community. This interest led me to take the AP Environmental Science course during my junior year of high school, and that’s when I learned about the internship opportunity with the Napa Sierra Club.

I contacted Nick Cheranich, one of the members of the Executive Committee of the Napa Sierra Club, and was fortunate to join the internship program. I have a strong interest in working with my community to improve efforts to conserve the environment and natural resources. By joining the Sierra Club, I knew that I would be able to collaborate with people who also shared this desire and learn more about our environment. I have learned a lot during my internship and hope to be able to continue to learn more and help protect the environment.

What are some ideas you have to make our world greener and cleaner?

My dream career is related to making our world cleaner and greener. I want to become an environmental architect and help protect the environment through my designs and projects. One day, I hope to design buildings that provide comfortable spaces for people to live in while simultaneously incorporating environmentally friendly elements into the design. I believe that this approach will have a positive impact on our natural environment and help make our world cleaner and greener.

What is your favorite memory at your organization/club?

One of my favorite memories from my time in the Sierra Club is the Monarch Butterfly presentation project, which I designed and presented with two other Napa Sierra Club interns. We researched monarch butterflies and how they are affected by climate change and global warming, and then put our research into a presentation. We spent a lot of time perfecting and planning this presentation before presenting our findings at the Napa County Library and the American Canyon Library.

To engage the children at the events, we also designed a fun interactive activity where they created their own monarch butterfly by tracing their hands on paper and cutting out a butterfly shape. This memory is my favorite from the Sierra Club because it was one of the first projects that I helped design and implement. The presentations turned out very well, and the children were engaged in the presentation. Scott Thomason, one of the members of the Executive Committee of the Napa Sierra Club, brought in milkweed plant seeds to show the children, which made the events more interactive. Overall, this was truly one of my favorite projects and memories from being a part of the Napa Sierra Club.

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