WCVI Eco Intern Project

Engaging Latino Youth in Environmental

William C. Velasquez Institute

Our story

WCVI’s Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Eco-Intern is a program for high school students from southeast LA to participate in a Spring 2018 experiential learning program and a 5th annual Earth Day Urban Campout event April 2018.


The SELA Eco-Intern program participants will be high school sophomores, juniors and seniors showing academic achievement and express an interest in the environment. Also in its 5th season, this hands-on internship program will include a series of lectures, regular outdoor class and field activities and technological training that will focus on revitalizing the Los Angeles River in southeast Los Angeles and conserving the marine environment through experiential learning:

  • Biodiversity in the LA River;
  • Watershed Health and Water Quality;
  • Adaptation to Climate Change;
  • Sustainable Development;
  • Wildlife Conservation in Urban Settings.


Our Earth Day Urban Campout event will bring together Eco-Interns, their families, and community members for a weekend filled with outdoor activities, information, and a connection between southeast LA communities and the Los Angeles River. Weekend activities include:

  • Urban animals & wildlife presentation;
  • Drumming group;
  • Storytelling;
  • Morning Bike Ride;
  • Food Trucks;
  • Green Career Presentation;
  • Tree Planting…and more!

The Eco Interns (will target Latino and minority high schools and community college students) in the Southeast Los Angeles will receive”Eco Intern” STEEMS curricula.


Our goals for this program:

  1. To promote southeast regional unity;
  2. Develop green solutions to Clean Water Act compliance by cities;
  3. Greening the three rivers with urban parks;
  4. To inspire local youth to pursue green higher education and careers


With this grant, WCVI will be able to work with Latino and minority students, conduct community outreach in diverse communities in Southeast Los Angeles. WCVI will also expand its Eco-Intern program into the schools in these areas: South Gate, Huntington Park, Maywood, Cudahy, Bell Gardens, Bell, Milliken, LB Poly, Cabrillo, Hawaiian Gardens, Wilmington, Long Beach City College, Harbor College, Cabrillo HS, Banning HS, LB Poly HS, Millikan HS.


WCVI deliverables will include developing a group of willing schools and students committing, educating 25-50 eco-interns, and identifying local businesses, governments and organizations interested in supporting the initiative. Deliverables will also include expanding the Chicano Studies program curriculum to include urban-based conservation education.