Journalism, a healthy diet and the environment - those are three things journalism teacher Lisa Shafer has emphasized at Fremont High School's Media Academy in Oakland, Calif. Shafer has been involved with EarthTeam since the summer of 2009.
She believes the best way to solve current environmental problems is by empowering young people to take charge in improving their community and the environment as a whole. “It’s important for all of us to be aware and do what we can to repair the damage we’ve done,” said Shafer. “Kids that live in urban areas are the victims of everything that’s wrong with the environment. It’s magnified for them, whether it’s asthma or blight. They would benefit from getting involved and helping to make their environment better.”
For the last two years Shafer’s journalism students have designed and put together the Green News Annual Anthology (Tanya Castro, 2010 and Tiffany Martin, 2011). “Both girls were very independent,” said Shafer. “It was really cool to see students take on a project for a client. Both girls learned a lot from the projects.” Additionally, Kim and Gloria Mejia-Cuellar are Green News monthly contributors and members of the Student Editorial Board.
At school, Shafer revived the school garden which was neglected during the summer. Shafer led her sixth period freshmen to get involved with the garden, replacing dying plants and using the harvest to cook healthy meals. “I was a total fan of the garden since I got to Media. It’s incredible. I watched it die in the summer and I was like oh my gosh, this cannot happen,” said Shafer. “I wrote a grant and hired somebody. We’re doing this wellness project with the freshmen about healthy food so it only made sense to educate them on how to grow food.”
Shafer has worked as a reporter for the Contra Costa Times, Philadelphia Inquirer and the Blade (Toledo, Ohio). She holds a masters degree in journalism from the University of Michigan and a bachelors degree in English Composition from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.