Two young people helped the city of Lynwood win a big award recently—thanks to a program designed to help local governments address community resilience issues such as: climate change, water resource management, and access to opportunities.
It’s called the CivicSparks program and it’s a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program.
CivicSparks Fellows support the State’s response to sustainability issues by working with local governments over the course of their 11 month-service year to complete research, planning, and implementation projects.
For Noe Martinez and Stephanie Cadena, it was a chance to give back to the community they grew up in.
They did it very well.
Martinez, a graduate of Humboldt State University, was the first CivicSparks Fellow in the southeast cities—working through a program sponsored by Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Company, and the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.
He worked on as needed basis in Norwalk, Downey, Lakewood, South Gate as well as Lynwood. This fueled his interest in pursuing a career within the public sector.
Ms. Cadena, who lives in Lynwood, is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and was thrilled to find a fellowship in her hometown. She followed Noe as a Fellow and worked the 11-month program to complete research, planning and help implement the city’s many projects.
“The best 11 months of my life,” she said.
All their hard work paid off last week when the city of Lynwood was honored with the Institute for Local Government 2018 Beacon Spotlight Platinum Award for Sustainability.
To read about that award click here:
Both pointed out that the city’s commitment to sustainability is something that is very real and congratulated the City Council and Public Works Director Sal Mendez for their commitment and hard work.
Noe now works full-time for the city of Lynwood Public Works Department and Stephanie completed her fellowship and is an Assistant Planner with the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.
“We are so proud of Noe and Stephanie for their contributions to our city’s outstanding sustainability efforts,” said Mayor Jose Solache. “Attracting young people like them to public service helps foster lasting, authentic community engagement and benefits all of us tremendously.”
Local government agencies are currently working with 90 CivicSparks Fellows across California—helping young people who are passionate about making a difference gain experience in addressing sustainability needs in their communities.
To learn more about the CivicSparks program, click here.