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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!

Application Closed Until Spring 2023

Meet Our Fall 2022 Interns!

Karo

AEL Intern

I am currently a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, where I am pursuing a major in Applied Learning Development EC-6th grade generalist. I was a former River Watcher, and I enjoyed every moment of being a part of the program which is why I have returned with a goal of obtaining hands-on experience for my future career working with the afterschool program. As a future teacher, my goal is to educate students not only about their core subjects, but also bring awareness around environmental injustices that are happening within their own communities. I am eager to begin exploring how to deliver lessons surrounding environmental injustices, deforestation, and plants. I am confident that the skills I will obtain during this internship will benefit my future career!

Anai

AEL Intern

Hello, my name is Anai Arteaga! I am a freshman undergraduate at Texas State University where I am interested in pursuing a degree in Design or Environmental Studies. As a child, my favorite activity was helping my mom plant flowers/seeds in the backyard. As a result, I have found that being outdoors is very relaxing and comforting. Since the fall of 2021, I joined the Austin Youth Riverwatch family, as a River Watcher, and have loved the program ever since. Working with this team allows me to connect with my passion for learning about the environment and giving back to my community. I enjoy working hand-ons on restoration projects that allow me to be outside. I am excited to join this program to help me decide on a specific path to study.
Fun facts about me: I love bird watching! My hobbies include reading the Harry Potter series, drawing/painting, and watching shows like Gilmore Girls. Moreover, I love spending my time playing the piano and baking delicious chocolate chip cookies.

Abby

AEL Intern

Hello! I am a senior at Southwestern University pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. I have always been drawn to the outdoors and have been curious about the environment surrounding me ever since I was a little kid. This is my second semester as an Austin Environmental Leaders Intern and I am very excited to continue working with AYRW. I am passionate about environmental education, environmental justice, and sustainable urban development. Particular areas of sustainability that fascinate me are recycling, water conservation, parks and green spaces, and public transportation.
I enjoy the field of sustainability because of how all-encompassing it is and how issues ranging from social justice to environmental health are all interconnected. I am passionate about helping to make the natural and built environment a better place to honor our planet and serve all who depend on it.
My dream career would be to work for a non-profit or government organization such as a city sustainability office, the Trust for Public Land, or the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Thazin

AEL Intern

I'm a sophomore at UT Austin majoring in sustainability with a business minor. I
have always loved nature and being outside. I enjoy going to the parks, hiking,
biking, camping, all those outdoor activities. I believed studying sustainability
would educate me about the environment and the environmental problems we
are currently facing, such as climate change, and I find it fascinating to
understand ways to sustain our planet. I am excited to work with AYRM because I know I will gain valuable experience
and I am eager to learn from this community and make wonderful memories with
my peers and mentors. This internship will help to strengthen my confidence in
public speaking and leadership skills and help me better understand how to
preserve local wildlife, plants, and ecosystems in Austin.

Jose

AEL Intern

I am a current student at Austin Community College with thoughts of transferring to Texas State University. I am pursuing a major in criminal justice. I want to help my community with any problem, big or small. Helping people is one of my top 5 values. I was in cross-country and track in high school, and love to work outdoors when given the opportunity. I enjoy planting things and watching them grow. Watching the process of plant growth is rewarding and wonderful to observe.

Jacqueline

AEL Intern

Hello! I’m a junior at St. Edward’s University, majoring in psychology with a minor in kinesiology. I’m interested in sports psychology and clinical psychology. These areas of interest are based on my goal of helping various populations navigate challenges with mental health and reducing the stigma. I am also interested in environmental issues that overlap with mental health, such as climate change, pollution, and microplastics. I’m excited to continue working with AYRW to facilitate educational and environmental lessons and raise awareness of persisting issues. I hope to improve my public speaking skills and develop self-efficacy and confidence in tackling environmental and mental health issues in the future. In my free time, I like to lift weights, play outside with my dogs and cats, watch anime, and play Beat Saber!

Alondra

AEL Intern

My name is Alondra Fleming-Parra. I am a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Plant Biology with a certificate in Marine Science. After I graduate, I plan on entering the field as a Texas State Park Ranger Interpreter or a Wildlife Technician to become a field biologist eventually. I wanted to work with Austin Youth River Watch because I believe educating the younger generation on how to take care of our planet earth is imperative. I want to develop my skills as a steward of the environment. Eventually, I want to return everything I learn to the Rio Grande Valley. That’s home, and I want to ensure it stays home for generations. I love to fish, hike, and go to concerts! I love the beach and finding cool spots to watch the sunset. I’m incredibly passionate about houseplants and work at a locally owned plant nursery on the weekends. I am always up for an adventure and want to visit every national park in the US!

Daisy

AEL Intern

Hi, I am currently a freshman at The University of Texas at Austin majoring in Social Work. I have always felt that there has been a big demand for more resources for those who are trying to seek out mental health services. Furthermore, I believe there is an increased need for social-emotional learning in schools. Previously, I was a Riverwatcher all four years of high school. Being in River Watch was such a fun experience for me. It was super interesting to learn about the environment and different concepts I have never heard of before. With my experience in River Watch, I knew that I wanted to come back and work with them to gain experience working with youth. Some of my favorite things to do are baking and listening to music!

Krista

AEL Intern

Hi! I am currently a senior at Southwestern University, pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Theatre. Throughout my environmental studies journey I have discovered that I’m mostly passionate about community based environmental work and environmental justice; helping marginalised communities who are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards. One of the biggest ways I believe that we can help is by educational efforts. I work as a sustainability ambassador on campus and my coworkers and I are always planning events for students, faculty, and staff to learn more about the environment; whether it’s about climate change, local food sources, or maintaining the community garden. I’m excited to take my skills that I’ve acquired and apply them to the work I’ll be doing as an intern.

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