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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 Fall 2022

Meet Our Spring 2022 Interns!

Karo

AEL Intern

I am currently a junior 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!

Desiree

AEL Intern

I am a freshman at St. Edwards University, I'm majoring in Environmental Science Policy and Change. Since I was a kid, I've always had a passion for the planet. As I've gotten older, I've been witness to many beautiful things that happen here and want to share that beauty with everyone around me. I plan to learn so much more during this internship from restoration to green infrastructure and overall, just growth in my knowledge about the world around me. I am beyond excited to start this awesome journey and grow as a human being.

Abby

AEL Intern

I am a junior at Southwestern University pursuing a degree in Environmental Studies. I have always loved the outdoors since I was a kid and enjoy activities such as hiking, swimming, and taking walks. In college, I have enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about environmental issues in depth in the classroom. I am particularly interested in urbanization, water and waste management, sustainable business practices, and environmental policy. I am excited to get to work hands-on addressing some of these environmental issues in the City of Austin. In a city experiencing immense growth like Austin, the impact on the natural environment and local communities is often overlooked in favor of urban growth and economic development. I hope to be able to make an impact on threatened ecosystems and marginalized communities in Austin through the work I do with AEL. My dream career would be to work for a government environmental agency such as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or to open my own sustainable business in the fashion or food industry.

Lily

AEL Intern

Hi there! I am a senior at St. Edward's University, where I am pursuing a bachelor's degree in Global Studies with a double minor in French and Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP).
I decided to major in Global Studies because I have a passion for learning about the world and hearing stories of those around me. While taking environmental courses, I have learned that environmental issues are often interconnected and a result of larger institutional issues. However, community involvement and hands-on experiences create helpful ripple effects to aid our environment. Having said this, I am very grateful to learn more about ways I can contribute to environmental quality and education in the Austin community.

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

I am a sophomore at St. Edward’s University, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Kinesiology with the hopes of getting my masters degree in Sports Psychology. I have been part of the Riverwatch family since 2018, participating in both the Austin Environmental Heroes summer program and after-school program. As a River Watcher, I learned about water quality testing, the effects of pollution, the importance of native species, and much more! I am interested in using my psychology background to analyze people's individual behavior surrounding waste disposal, climate change, and littering. I am excited to work with Riverwatch students, and gain hands-on skills.

Nicole

AEL Intern

I am a recent graduate from Southwestern University with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and minors in Spanish and Biology. This fall, I am excited to begin working on my Masters of Public Environmental Health at Texas A&M. Growing up in Houston near the Port, I have always been interested in how our built environment affects our health and I hope to eventually work in my hometown performing surface water quality testing. In my free time, I like to run, read, and crochet. Some of my favorite books include The Body by Bill Bryson and The Better Half by Sharon Moalem. I am very grateful to be working with Austin Youth River Watch and excited to gain skills that will aid me in my career. I decided to major in Global Studies because I have a passion for learning about the world and hearing stories of those around me. While taking environmental courses, I have learned that environmental issues are often interconnected and a result of larger institutional issues. However, community involvement and hands-on experiences create helpful ripple effects to aid our environment. Having said this, I am very grateful to learn more about ways I can contribute to environmental quality and education in the Austin community.

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