Salvador Mateo and Julio Madrigal were honored at the Bay Area Schools Environmental Conference as the Green Star Outstanding Students of the year. They each received a recycled glass plate engraved in their names from the conference organizers at the City of San Jose who noted the following achievements while presenting the award:
Salvador Mateo and Julio Madrigal from Mandela High School's graduating class of 2011 are working to overcome the obstacles of environmental injustice in their community. Last summer Salvador and Julio both interned at the Rose Foundation with Jill Ratner to learn more about the sources and effects of environmental racism.
They helped establish a school community garden from reuse materials, won a grant to start their own business, and are producing a video for The 4th annual Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest in an effort to win support and funding to help them on their path to college.
They now sell the vegetables that are grown in the Mandela garden at a convenient price to help students and community members enjoy healthy organic food, without having to go to the liquor store or buying canned goods.
Both maintain 3.5+GPAs and belong to Youth and Government sponsored by the YMCA where they are working to pass a Green Bill in the California Youth and Government Senate to help California reduce its fossil fuel emissions.
With funding from a Youth Venture program grant, they will launched a social enterprise in March to build raised garden beds for low income families that cannot afford to eat healthy. The beds aren't be free, but they are sold at a price that the families can afford and include training in gardening and composting. Salvador and Julio are trying to make a change in their community and are willing to help families help themselves.
Congratulations to Julio, Salvador and the team at Mandela!