New Pinellas Student Environmental Leadership Workshop

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - There are 10 spaces available for an exciting new summer workshop for teens next month, on July 11-15, 2016. This is a pilot program developed with funding from the Clean Communities Clean Coasts NOAA Marine Debris Prevention Education and Outreach grant.

Organized by Keep Pinellas Beautiful (KPB) and USFCMS, the speakers include environmental youth leaders, stormwater professionals from the City of St. Pete, and photography/software workshop taught by faculty at the USFSP Department of Journalism and Media Studies.

Teens will learn and practice communications skills and creating tools, so they can conduct effective outreach and clean-up activities in their schools and communities. (As they earn Bright Future credits too!)  We will also collect input from the youth to better define preferences for messages and communications tools.

Location: Through a collaboration with USFSP, the youth camp will be in Harbor Hall Community Room and lab/classroom in the USFSP Media Studies Department, and with support from the USFSP Campus Recreation department there will be a kayaking trip and pool party on Friday.

If you have questions, please contact KPB coordinator Stephanie Ellington (formerly Lawler), a USFCMS graduate.

Students Develop Environmental Leadership Skills

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - Last week, 13 high school students from Pinellas County participated in a five-day workshop to increase their knowledge about marine/watershed pollution causes and impacts, and develop their communications and project leadership skills. The new workshop was developed by Keep Pinellas Beautiful and the University of South Florida College of Marine Science for the Collaborating for Clean Communities initiative, which is funded by a NOAA Marine Debris Prevention grant. 

The students heard presentations and engaged in discussions with experts from KPB, USF CMS, the City of St. Petersburg, the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit and the USF SP School of Media Studies.  Held at the USF SP Harbor Hall, students kayaked in Booker Creek and X beach to assess litter, and practiced organizing a clean-up in Bayboro Harbor. During the week, students honed in on their issues and developed projects to implement at their schools.   

Keep Pinellas Beautiful, with Alumni Stephanie Lawler-Ellington

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - USF College of Marine Science Alumni, Stephanie Lawler-Ellington, from Keep Pinellas Beautiful, recently shared her career development experience with the College of Marine Science. 

During my undergraduate career, I developed as an environmental advocate for the USFSP community, taking on leadership roles in both campus and local environmental organizations. The primary focus of these organizations was to work within the local community through environmental based outreach and activism. Upon completion of my bachelor’s degree, I continued my studies earning a master’s degree with the USF College of Marine Science. This was by far one of the most rewarding and challenging stages of my life. I was granted the opportunity to work with Drs. Christina Kellogg, Mya Breitbart, and Pamela Hallock Muller who directly influenced my personal and professional growth. Through their guidance, I refined my analytical thinking, scientific writing, and verbal communication skills. The experiences and relationships developed during these years laid the foundation upon which all of my future success will be built.

Upon completion of my master’s degree, I was hired by Keep Pinellas Beautiful as their Program and Volunteer Coordinator. This position fully utilizes the skills and tools acquired during my academic career. Furthermore, this position aligns with my passion for the marine environment and my desire to empower future generations. As one of the leading environmental nonprofit organizations in Pinellas County, Keep Pinellas Beautiful works to conserve and beautify our natural environment through educational outreach and engagement. Our objective is to develop programs which instill pride and individual responsibility for ones community by actively partnering with individuals, local schools, and other community based organizations. As the Program and Volunteer Coordinator for Keep Pinellas Beautiful, I strive to increase our impact through the organization and management of educational events, community cleanup and beautification projects, as well as grant based programming. To ensure these initiatives are successful, I lead the efforts of volunteers who provide tangible and incremental contributions toward our long term goals.

I am highly motivated to increase our organization’s impact and partnerships with the county and continue to seek relationships with citizens, businesses and organizations who desire to Keep Pinellas Beautiful.

Written By: Stephanie Lawler-Ellington

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Published in Careers