An old saying, falsely attributed to Gandhi, encourages us to be the change we want to see.
Serah Almeyda is following that advice.
The Windsor High School senior promotes stewardship of the Earth and of one’s own body by incorporating those practices in her own life.
The 17-year-old abides by a vegetarian diet and volunteers for a number of environmental causes. As a member of the Global Student Embassy Club, she’s helping to build a garden at Cali Calmecac Language Academy. She’s also been to Nicaragua twice and is hoping to visit Ecuador over spring break.
“A big part of why I got involved in a lot of things is because I had someone believe in me,” she said. “I’d like to give that message to others.”
Climate change and pollution are high on her list of concerns. She is a member of ECO2school, a program of the Center for Climate Protection that develops student leadership and encourages positive action in response to the climate crisis.
She also was the keynote speaker earlier this month at the Youth for Sustainability and Environment Conference in Oakland.
Almeyda said her mother’s income qualifies her to be on the federal free and reduced lunch program at her high school, which can make it a challenge finding vegetarian meal options. She said her mother, who raises Almeyda and her younger brother, is a role model who works hard to provide for the family.
Almeyda joined Windsor’s Friends of Feminist Club to advocate for equal rights and pay for women. Seeing my mom being such a strong, independent woman, that’s what led to my feminist beliefs,” she said.
Human trafficking is another concern for Almeyda, who said women who are forced into prostitution shouldn’t be viewed as criminals, but as victims of their circumstances. As a board member for Social Advocates for Youth, Almeyda also is in a position to advocate on behalf of homeless teens and those who’ve been placed in foster care.
She said her most recent experience in Nicaragua was life-changing. She lived there for a month with a family that lacked refrigeration and other basic conveniences. Almeyda helped her host family build garden beds so the family would have access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Even though I go through things in my own life, I understand there are greater struggles in the world,” she said. “Because I am able, I will do whatever I can to help others.”
You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or email@example.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.