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Summer Youth Interns Join the SYCEO – Part 2

Summer Youth Interns Join the SYCEO – Part 2
The Tribal Youth Internship Program has wrapped up its second rotation. Unfortunately, for the SYCEO that means saying goodbye to another amazing intern. For the past 3 weeks the SYCEO was fortunate to work with Neiko Pagaling. Neiko was involved in many aspects of the SYCEO like Zero Waste efforts, the Chumash Community Garden, Water Quality monitoring and Landscaping. Neiko also assisted the Environmental Office leading Environmental Education activities with Camp K youth. Want to know what Neiko’s experience in the SYCEO was like? Read his blog post below. Neiko Pagaling talks about his experience while working in the Environmental Office:
My first week at the Chumash Environmental Office has surprisingly been really exciting and educational. I have learned how to prepare a PVC pipe, met all the incredibly kind people who work in the office, and learned about their website.  My first week, I helped prepare PVC pipes for the new irrigation system that the office is setting up. They are trying to create a new way for water to flow to the new parking lot (“The Overflow Parking Lot”). I learned from Julio how to set the PVC pipes to prepare for the “implantation” in the new system. While working with Kelly, I learned the many ways the SYCEO utilizes the internet to extend their services to the community. The SYCEO uses many forms of social media to interact with the community such as; Facebook, Vimeo, and their own office website. They use these resources to encourage young adults to interact with their environment.
Last but not least, we cannot forget about all the incredibly kind people working in the Environmental Office. On my first day, everyone greeted me with a huge smile and a firm hand shake. If I forgot when or how to do something, I know I can always ask for help. They are friendly people, who are dedicated to their work and are always available to answer questions. My second week in the environmental office has been great. This week I was able to assist with Camp K. I helped the kids in the garden, making sure they used the correct amount of soil in their planting pots. I also created art samples to share with Camp K youth to demonstrate items that can be made from recycled materials using your imagination. My last week in the Environmental Office has been wonderful. This week I was able to sort Camp K’s Zero Waste into three categories; Landfill, compost and recycling. On this specific day most of the waste went into the landfill (sadly), but a good amount of it went to recycling and the least went to compost.
Watershed model construction with Environmental Office Intern

Environmental Office Intern, Neiko, working on the Watershed Model

One of the more exciting “jobs” I got to do this week was creek sampling. Julio, Lars, and I went down the creek bed and tested different areas for signs of pollution or change in the water. We used different types of bottles to test for different type of pollutants in the creek. Unfortunately, one of the areas the SYCEO usually test has no water so we couldn’t get any samples at this site.
We hope the skills and knowledge Neiko learned while working with the Environmental Office will stay with him for years to come. We wish Neiko the best in his next rotation and hope he continues to stay involved in future SYCEO programs.

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