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by Sydney Brown, Young Texan Ambassador 2022-23

As our Young Texan Ambassadors application has come to a close, we’re excited for the new cohort to get started as leaders in their communities. Sydney Brown was a member of the 2022-23 cohort of the Young Texan Ambassadors and is joining us again for her second year. In this blog, she shares her experience in the program, combining her interests to create an impactful community project. We hope that her experience will inspire current and future YTA members as they develop their own community projects.

Sydney and Jamea with their interactive booth
Sydney teaching kids about recycling and composting

As a first-year member, I have been amazed by the countless opportunities that YTA has offered me. Through this organization, I have gained valuable skills on how to plan cleanups, do outreach in my community, and serve my community and the environment in tandem. YTA has given me the opportunity to have essentially unlimited creative liberties when it comes to completing environmental projects in my community.

One of the things I love most about YTA is the way the program has given me the chance to connect my passion for the environment with other passions and values in my life. This is not something I was necessarily expecting coming into YTA, but it has only made my experience this past year all that much more valuable.

One of my biggest passions in life is the environment. You can see this by taking one look into my life: my room is overflowing with plants, my kitchen compost is always ready to be taken out again, and I have dreamt of careers where I can work toward making sustainable lifestyles a normality. Another aspect of my life includes a completely different passion: working with children. Whether it’s babysitting and nannying, or working with the elementary-age soccer girls I coach, I am always having fun when I’m with kids. Both of these passions bring purpose and joy to my life, but the thought never crossed my mind that these could be implemented together. This is where YTA came in!

This year, YTA challenged us to design and implement a community project that gave us the chance to combine our passions and interests. For me, this meant combining my passion for environmental work with working with children. My community project involved working with a team to create an interactive and educational children’s booth about recycling and composting at a youth library event. During the event, I was down on the floor at the level of these kids, teaching them about topics that are important to both me and our planet. After showing one boy a composting demonstration I had created, I heard him turn to his mother and say “Mom! Can we do this at home?” Hearing that made my day and proved that my passions could work together to have an even bigger impact.

YTA has provided me with a unique opportunity to combine my passions and have fun doing it. Educating children about the environment is essential, as they are the future of our planet. I am grateful to YTA and Keep Texas Beautiful for their guidance and support in presenting me with such an enriching experience. To anyone who has a passion for the environment and another seemingly unrelated interest, I encourage you to join YTA and discover how everything can be connected. Together, we can work towards a better world for our communities and our planet.