To mark this past Earth Day (April 22, 2021), Upper Division students and Environmental Club members Jazmin Morenzi ’23, Bianca Rexine ’23, Evelyn Moore ’23, and Lydia Yu ’23 teamed up with students from Monterey High School’s Environmental Club to host a joint outdoor “Stand For Climate” Event. Held on Saturday, April 24, at Window on the Bay (across Lake El Estero in Monterey), the event was intended to help raise awareness for environmental conservation.

Members of the RLS Environmental Club initially found out that the event was happening from friends who lived in the area. Excited by the idea of participating, they volunteered to help the original organizers spread the word about the event—and also to encourage fellow RLS day students to attend. While RLS boarding students were not able to participate due to current restrictions prohibiting them from leaving campus, day students were encouraged to come and to bring any friends and family who were also interested. All attendees were masked and asked to adhere to physical distancing guidelines.

Nearly 50 people participated. Many brought homemade signs and informational pamphlets to help spread awareness about important environmental issues. Since the event happened in a busy, public area, pedestrians who came by were able to stop and ask about the purpose of the gathering. This gave student participants the opportunity to engage in several meaningful conversations with passers-by about climate change and ideas for sustainable living.

Environmental Club member Bianca Rexine ‘23 explained, “The biggest highlight of the whole event was just seeing how many people care about our environment. I saw so many people smile at us and honk enthusiastically. It gave me hope and made me happy that so many cared about the cause.” Another member of the Environmental Club, Jazmin Morenzi ‘23, added, “Also, the conversations we had with people who stopped by were meaningful. It was super cool when a family came up to us with their children and asked us to talk to them about easy changes they could make in their daily lives to show sustainability.”

The organizers from the Environmental Club would like to extend a big thanks to the original organizers of the event, who helped to manage all of the logistics and gather so many people for such a good cause.