A club for environmentalists: Green Youth Alliance takes the initiative


GYA at the California Coastal Clean-Up Day event on Sept. 21. From left to right, top row: Franklin Rice, Mr. D’Souza, Nathan Lu, Morgan Finlayson, Brandon Whiteley, and Bita Shahrvini. Bottom row: James Xie, Belal Kaddoura, and Gabby D’Souza.

Claire Porter, Staff Writer

From coastal clean-ups to being the driving force behind Belmont’s styrofoam and plastic bag ban, Carlmont’s Green Youth Alliance takes big steps concerning our environment.

Senior and GYA President Gabby D’Souza explained that the club originated at Aragon, and Joe Pak, a current Harvard senior, brought the club over to Carlmont. Since then, D’Souza affirms that “[GYA has] joined forces with Save the Bay and the Sierra Club in efforts to make differences in the community.”

“I joined GYA freshman year when I started becoming more aware of the realities of environmental exploitation and destruction,” said senior Franklin Rice. “I knew it was an important cause, and that in today’s world it’s impossible to be a conscientious citizen without an appreciation for environmental preservation.”

The club meets on Mondays in E11. Club officers meet outside of school every other Monday, and the executive officers meet with the other fellow officers from surrounding schools in Millbrae once a month.

But the members of GYA don’t just discuss environmental issues – they take action. In addition to executive officer meetings once a month, D’Souza beamed that, “many of our members spoke at city council meetings in Milbrae, Belmont, Cupertino, and Redwood City to ban Styrofoam and plastic bags.” This happened back in 2011, influencing San Carlos to take on a similar measure two years later.

However, the club hopes to bring their environmentalist force to campus. Sophomore Gabi Dimick hopes to see the expansion of the club, and witness it “making an impact on the schools trash problem.”

D’Souza agrees. “The littering issue is interesting,students are very complacent about just tossing their trash wherever they’d like.”

“We are actually making our community a better place, said Dimick. “I want to see the club reach out to Carlmont’s students and raise awareness of the ‘green’ issues that are affecting the world today.”

D’Souza anticipates an increase in membership after the clubs fair on Oct. 3, organized by ASB.

The next time you bring your canvas bags to Lunardis or notice that your Gin Mon take-out containers are not made of styrofoam, remember to thank GYA for the local environmental improvements they’ve succeeded in.