Austin Environmental Leaders is a new initiative from Austin Youth River Watch designed to broaden our impact past High School graduation. Our AEL program provides career readiness-skills to young adults aged 18-24 in central Texas through intensive mentorship, on-the-job training, and environmental restoration. 

Our interns demonstrate a passion for:

  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Community Service
  • Project-Based Learning

Over the course of a semester, interns commit to 16 hours of service per month and receive an hourly stipend for their efforts. As a result, our interns are better prepared to enter the workforce and create positive outcomes for themselves. 

 

Interested in joining our program? Fill out the form below!

Austin Environmental Leaders Sign-Up Form - Opens Spring 2021

Meet Our Fall 2020 Interns!

Ricky

AEL Intern

Ricardo is currently a senior at Akins High school. Throughout his time there, Ricardo has participated in Future Farmers of America (FFA), where he personally raised livestock and gained leadership experience through agricultural education. This past year he became a part of the Park Ranger cadet practicum where he is learning about racial equity in parks and outdoor spaces, amongst many more outdoor skills and knowledge. Ricardo loves the outdoors and is excited to learn more about the local flora and fauna surrounding Austin. He is planning to pursue a degree in wildlife biology at Texas State University in San Marcos when he graduates this spring!

Sandra

AEL Intern

Sandra graduated in 2019 from the KIPP: Austin Collegiate high school. She is currently getting her associate's in general studies at Southern New Hampshire University online. One of her passions is to help the environment in any way she can. Eventually, Sandra wants to pursue a career in the environmental science field. Sandra has previously worked with Austin Environmental Heroes (AEH) and Urban Roots before becoming an Austin Environmental Leader!

Ena

AEL Intern

Ena graduated from McCallum Fine Arts Academy and the LBJ Fire Academy in 2020. She wants to pursue a career in emergency services as an EMT. Ena previously participated in the River Watch after school program and the Virtual Summer Fellowship. She is passionate about protecting and appreciating state parks as well as mycology and foraging for edible wild plants.

Sirena

AEL Intern

Sirena Gatica is a freshman at Austin Community College, focused on her studies in criminal justice and photography. As a native Austinite, she is passionate about her Latino community along with the environmental issues of Austin. With a noteworthy goal of becoming a special agent, she wants to expand her skillset in collecting data and scientific investigation. In the AEL internship, she is taking an interest in deforestation in the Amazon rainforest and studying the impacts and effects of urbanization and agriculture.

Anne Marie

AEL Intern

Anne Marie is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin studying Geography, Anthropology, and Sustainability Studies, with a focus in Natural Resource Management. She has special interests in environmental justice, the importance of landscapes in culture, and how changing climate is affecting the realities of communities across the globe. Anne Marie currently works in the Soils and Watersheds Lab on the UT campus researching how new glacial melt is affecting drinking water in Peru and France. With AYRW, she is working on designing educational visualizations of environmental racism within Austin.

River Watch is a place where I am always loved and accepted. They are my family and I have no idea where I'd be without it.

UlisesEast Side Memorial High School, 2013

When I found River Watch it reminded me of the saying, "home is where the heart is". With River Watch I am accepted, fun is never rejected and I am at home. Now my smile is 10 times wider and I couldn't be more happy.

NathanielEastside Memorial High School, 2013

It was amazing to get out and make a positive contribution to the environment while still having fun.

AraceliTravis High School, 2019

I love how this program makes people aware of the actions we as people make. It’s good to help out the environment because not many people do so.

OdalisTravis High School, 2019

It is difficult to describe in words the importance of River Watch in my life. Most importantly, perhaps, has been a broadening of my horizons. I've come to appreciate the dirt beneath my feet and the water that cuts through the landscape.

MakaylaCrockett High School, 2014

I love how this program makes people aware of the actions we as people make. It’s good to help out the environment because not many people do so.

OdalisTravis High School, 2019

I love how this program makes people aware of the actions we as people make. It’s good to help out the environment because not many people do so.

OdalisTravis High School, 2019