I am Talia, an incoming high school senior at College Prep in Oakland, and I’ve been a Habitat and Restoration fellow here at Save The Bay for the past six weeks. I found out about this opportunity from an elective class I’m taking at school entitled “STOak,” which stands for “Social Transformations in Oakland.”

The year-long course involves researching the history of Oakland, learning about different social movements here, and discussing how the city has changed over time. To make a difference in the community, each student was matched with an Oakland non-profit for a summer internship covering local issues.

I applied to Save The Bay because I’d enjoyed a previous experience volunteering for the organization, and I was inspired by the way its staff focus on restoration while simultaneously supporting policies that benefit the Bay. A key part of Save The Bay’s mission is to educate the community about the Bay and the threats it faces, and during my time here I’ve had the opportunity to help lead multiple education programs. These events teach students from around the Bay Area about tidal marshlands, providing them with hands-on activities by the water and in nurseries. In exploring Bay wetlands with staff and students, I now have an even deeper understanding of plant propagation and maintenance (such as weeding, watering, and mulching).