Oakmont’s Newest Environmental Club

Sophomore Gabriela Sevilla brings a new club to Oakmont hoping to spread awareness of environmental issues.

Sophomore Gabriela Sevilla recently brought a new club to Oakmont campus in hopes of invoking positive change in the environment through school. 

“The Sustainability Club is a club for students who want to advocate for the environment,” Sevilla said. “Our goal is to spread environmental awareness within our community, and encourage sustainable change in lifestyles and habits.”

Sevilla introduces a new way to bring students together with this club for those who are passionate about saving the environment. She is hoping to encourage change in today’s society. Having started a new club this school year though, she has already faced her share of troubles. 

“I think the biggest problem we faced was starting up the club in the first place because it took us a while to get approved,” Sevilla says. “After some waiting and persisting, we eventually succeeded, and it was worth it.”

After facing quite a few bumps in the road, Sevilla has officially achieved her ambitious goal of starting a club, and is ready to dive in head first. Although, her expectations of how the club would kick off were quite different then her reality, due to COVID-19.

Sevilla said, “Adapting to an online routine was a little tricky, but eventually we were able to come up with a routine. Our online meetings involve a presentation about a specific environmental topic, and learning more about it to develop a deeper understanding.”

Being in quarantine, tasks that would have been simple while at school have become much more difficult, but Sevilla has worked her way around it. She has successfully adapted her ideas and goals for her club to an online model where they can partake in safe activities on their weekly zoom call. 

“We have tons of ideas for our club in the future,” Sevilla said. “These include hosting different interactive fundraisers, starting sustainable projects at our school, spreading awareness among our peers, volunteering for environmental non-profits, and so much more.”

After having to adapt to an online model, Sevilla has made great strides in what her club can participate in, including promoting more eco-friendly options for everyday life on the club’s Instagram page, @ohssustainabilityclub.

“I want to make a difference in our community and spread more awareness,” Sevilla said. “Environmental topics are nothing but a brief sub-unit in science, and even then it often isn’t expressed how serious they are. People are unaware of the causes of these issues, including how they themselves contribute.”

The start of the club was based on the lack of attention environmental issues were becoming, especially at school. With students not being educated on the environment, they are unaware of the effects they have on it. Sevilla hopes to change this and educate anybody who is willing to listen.

I’m lucky to have had lots of exposure while I was growing up,” Sevilla said. “My dad always likes to talk about different problems in the world, and one of the topics that he’d always bring up was the disregard for nature and wildlife.”

From being exposed to these issues at such a young age, it led her to become quite interested in how humans affect the environment. Her passion for this new club stems from her deep appreciation for nature, and she is hoping to follow her goal of making an impact on the world. 

“I hope to influence and inspire kids to make a positive difference, no matter how big or small,” Sevilla said.