Whether they attend one of our educational programs, a condor tour with their parents, or find us online from states away, we have the privilege of working with some dedicated and passionate youth. We highlight some of these committed youth who have helped raise awareness for condors in their own unique, creative ways . . .
Celestine and the condor scouts
Celestine Chee bursts into spontaneous song about her “life’s devotion — condors” after watching a video of a condor chick in it’s nest. Celestine’s mom Allie isn’t quite sure what happened in that little moment when their family visited Big Sur, but says it’s wonderful to be a witness in the aftermath. Her daughter has created a club called the Condor Scouts, and the small group of youth do a litter pick up every day. She also gives a presentation (3-5x per day!) about helping condors to anyone who asks about her Condor Scouts cap, which she wears everywhere. Celestine meets the most wonderful people doing this work—and her mom sees it bring out the best in people. Once when Celestine was doing her advocacy work in a restaurant the family stopped at, she ended up speaking with a gentleman who was really supportive of Celestine and the condors, and insisted on making a donation then and there (which Celestine’s family matched).
Celestine keeps busy with her daily litter pick-ups and working on her digital and print materials for sharing information about the California condor with the folks she meets. In an email to us, Celestine says, “I am also making ‘Condor Scouts - No Micro-litter’ signs to hang in restaurants, but I make sure these signs are secure and do not become micro-litter itself. I have a cat named Cleo Fluffington who watches the condor cam with me!” Allie doesn’t know what exactly happened, but says their lives are now firmly on course with these lovely creatures.
Watch Celestine’s video introducing her Condor Scouts group and encouraging others in how to protect condors.
Read an article about Celestine and Kids Helping Condors in the Los Gatos Birdwatcher Newsletter (page 6)
micro trash art, created by 5th graders
This beautiful art piece was created by 5th grade students at Mount Madonna School in Watsonville, California, with the help of their dedicated teacher Jessica Campbell. This image of a California condor in flight is crafted from bits of colorful micro-trash.
about the artists
Each year the 5th grade class at Mount Madonna School in Watsonville, California chooses an environmental project in which they work to enact change upon this issue. Projects include students researching a chosen topic of interest, meeting experts to help expand their knowledge base, looking for projects in which they can help to benefit the environment, and identifying civic action though which students can show their support and to help raise awareness. During the 2012-2013 school year, the students decided to focus on the endangered California condor.
In 2009-2010 the students worked toward reducing Marine Debris with Save Our Shores. In 2010-2011 the class focused on Sea Otters and created a Worldwide Waste Reduction Day which inspired people from all over the world to go outside and pick up litter. In 2011-2012 the students worked to rebuild habitat for the Western Burrowing Owl and raise awareness of dangers the species faces. We are a fully committed team of two teachers, parents and students. In 2011 and 2012, the children were nationally recognized for their work in the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge as top in the Nation. In addition, the class of 2012 also took top honors at state and local environmental competitions.
endangered species club
One spring day, a dapper young man named Kyle Groves walked into our Salinas, CA office to hand deliver a donation he raised through his Endangered Animal Club. His concern for endangered species led Kyle to pull together his classmates to form the club, which meets regularly to learn about endangered species and how young students can make a difference. Through his efforts, Kyle not only brought awareness to the issue of endangered animals but also created a way to empower many of his classmates to help by taking action.