Earth Team JF Kennedy Interns Discuss Air Quality Issues with Guest Speakers

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The latter half of November provided some much needed precipitation in the East Bay; the horrendous air quality has plagued the residents for quite some time now. Ironically, Kennedy interns were pouring with knowledge on air quality after having spent a full meeting in dialogue with 2 guest speakers, Michael Kent of Contra Costa Health Services and Luz Gomez of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), respectively.

Michael Kent was first to speak, and, by measuring the looks of engaged faces during their discussion, there’s no doubt that they gained a deeper understanding of air quality issues facing the Richmond / San Pablo community. They had discussions about the intersection between health, air quality, transportation, and everything in between: The effects of increased emissions from the “prime effect”, coal trains running through the city, etc. In addition, how AB 617 will affect the East Bay community.

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Mr. Kent also provided an interactive activity to help interns understand the supply chain side of how transportation and air quality interconnect. Kennedy intern Itzel excelled at this activity, and was invited to teach her fellow interns!

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After a brief break, interns were excited to hear what Luz Gomez of BAAQMD had to offer to the conversation. Sharing her experiences and background growing up in Columbia and her role as the Community Engagement Manager respectively, it can definitely been seen on the look of attention on intern’s faces that she produced a level of resonance with them.

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Michael wasn’t the only guest speaker to bring an interactive activity! Luz’s lesson called for a blown up map of the City of Richmond. The intern’s objectives? To not only locate their homes by placing location markers on the map, they were also assigned to locate where they believe the sources of air pollution stem from in the city.

A special thanks to Luz and Michael for coming in to talk about all of these important topics! Earth Team interns at Kennedy High are much more knowledgable on health air quality issues that face their community!

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