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!

Angie

AEL Intern

Angie graduated from Akins High Schools in 2019. For two years she was a part of a program called “Ready-Set-Teach”, or RST, where she worked with elementary school children helping them with their school work and problem-solving skills. Currently she is enrolled at ACC majoring in Health Information Technology, but also making time to help the environment whenever she can!

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.

Kiana

AEL Intern

Kiana Pastrana is a Senior Environmental Studies student at Southwestern University, with focused interests in accessibility and environmental justice. As a Brown, Filipina/Puerto Rican activist, she is passionate about working with historically underrepresented communities to empower diverse voices within the environmental movement, and she is also a co-founder of Just Futures Collective, a community organization of young, anti-racist activists. With AYRW, she is currently conducting research on the understudied impact of the prison system on the environment, and producing educational content on environmental justice.

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