Tag Archives: WBCT

Earth Day 2013: More Than Just One Day for San Pedro Students

San Pedro High School students from the Global Environmental Studies / Earth Alert Academy (SPEA) united their peers and friends to give Mother Earth not just one Earth Day, but two! The Annual SPEA Earth Day Celebration began with a green clean-up event on Saturday, April 20, 2013 thanks to our new partner, All Green Recycling. With the company’s incredible support, more than 25 high student volunteers and teachers organized the 4th Annual SPEA E-Waste Recycling Fundraiser. Not only did SPEA students reduce their carbon footprints in the South Bay, but also raised $533 for academy expenses.

So was Earth Day Part One successful? You tell us…

SPEA diverted over 8,000 lbs. of total electronics from entering landfills and prevented 11,576 lbs. of carbon emissions from polluting the atmosphere. This is equivalent to 446 trees saved, 1,964 gallons of gasoline, 16,777 plastic bottles recycled, and 77,175 aluminum cans recycled.

SPEA students and volunteers help out during the 2013 E-Waste Recycling Fundraiser at San Pedro, made possible by All Green Recycling.

SPEA students and volunteers help out during the 2013 E-Waste Recycling Fundraiser at San Pedro High School, made possible by All Green Recycling.

Part two of the celebration began on Monday, April 22nd and transformed San Pedro High School into an interactive center for green careers. Over 700 students attended on-campus presentations put together by 16 of our industry partners from Bird Rescue, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, DWP, US Coast Guard and the West Basin Container Terminal, just to name a few. The presentations introduced students to local and global careers in environmental management, safety, response and rescue.

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SPEA Advisory Board Chair and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Director, Mike Schaadt, shares a prop which demonstrates the large offspring of a BOFFFF (Big Old Fat Fecund Female Fish).

“I liked all the presenters and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium presentations the most. I learned that we can all help the Earth by going to beach cleanups and similar activities,” said Giselle, SPEA student.

“I liked the presentations because they helped give us an idea of different career options we can take – that was helpful,” stated Chris, San Pedro High School junior.

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power representatives discuss the wastewater treatment and water reclamation process.

Our presenters also enjoyed their classroom time with San Pedro students.

“Talking about the things that they can do – it was a bit of an A-ha moment for the students. They realize that what they do and that one person can make a difference,” said Jeff Greg, Marine Science Technician for the US Coast Guard.

Dr. Kiersten Darrow, Research Curator for the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium used her time with the students to discuss grunion hatching and opportunities within the Marine Aquarium such as internships, volunteer opportunities, beach cleanups, and other community service projects.

“Again, it’s the connection. It’s nice that they see us in their classrooms – they know that we want them in particular,” said Dr. Darrow.

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Ports America employees lead the class in a mock Jeopardy game.

Meanwhile on the other side of campus, Ports America formed student teams in an engaging mock Jeopardy game filled with environmental topics and fun facts.

“It’s important for companies like ours to be here… it gives the students an opportunity to engage and relate with professionals within an industry that’s right down the street from… and it gives them the opportunity to ask us questions and see what we do,” said Christina Boden, Regional Safety Manager for Ports America.

From clean-up to career exploration, SPEA students turned an ordinary Earth Day celebration into a two-day event that will have long-term, positive effects on the planet and the ambitions of our youth.

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A few of our amazing Earth Day presenters and ITEP supporters.

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SPEA Goes Global in their Backyard

Our blog has been a bit quiet during these past weeks – apologies to all our readers! December and January flew by, and February isn’t slowing down. The ITEP team likes to keep things exciting to say the least. We just completed our GPS Your Future event, the 2013 ITEP Board Retreat and now are prepping for our Annual Scholarship Dinner.

Below is a quick overview of the amazing field trip that wrapped up our 2012. We promise more recaps in the coming days.

WBCT Luncheon and Tour – December 2012
West Basin Container Terminal LLC  (WBCT) was the destination and this time it was San Pedro High Earth Alert students (SPEA) who navigated their uncharted neighborhood. The event began with a luncheon filled with good old-fashioned barbecue, plenty of desserts and an amazing employee raffle.

SPEA students lunched with WBCT staff – clerks, managers, longshoremen, etc., and of course, Pirate Santa. All proceeds from the raffle directly benefitted ITEP’s SPEA academy – a cool $3,400. GO WBCT and SPEA!

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Top: 12th grade SPEA students, Tierrah and Hailey post with WBCT’s “Pirate Santa.” Middle: A view from WBCT’s Marine Tower. Bottom: Russell “Rusty” Mahakian, Vessel Superintendent discusses cargo operations with SPEA.

Students then began their tour and entered the Marine Tower (the center of all cargo operations). The building houses the clerks, computers and live imaging of containers “on the go”.

SPEA students then stood directly underneath a 1600-ton crane capable of moving 30-35 containers an hour. Overall, WBCT processes 15-20,000 containers per week. A special shout-out to our tour guide, Russell “Rusty” Mahakian, Vessel Superintendent for WBCT. Rusty did a great job of getting our SPEA students dreaming and talking.

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WBCT staff and SPEA group stand underneath a 1600-ton crane. The cranes move along the terminal and operate 30-35 containers per hour.

I want to go to school, study business and start my own company. I would love to work here (at the ports) too. I grew up with this. I love this place,” stated Hailey, 12th grade SPEA student.

The conversation continued as all students together with WBCT staff came together to hear Paxton Bowman, Terminal Manager, answer questions and share advice.

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Roundtable discussion with Paxton Bowman, Terminal Manager for WBCT (far right).

“The waterfront is uncharted territory for many. People don’t know what goes on at these terminals. There are various moving parts and it’s evolving… In the last 20 years, we’ve seen a larger presence of women… some of best drivers we have are females” stated Paxton, who talked about the unknown job opportunities at the ports and immediately caught the attention of our female students.

With conversations and interest at its peak, we couldn’t think of a better way to end a field trip or 2012, but then the goodie bags rolled out. Gift cards, smiles and swag filled the room and students left the terminal with new appreciation for the cranes and containers they see almost every day.

The tour was just one of the many ways WBCT and its parent company, Ports America, make a huge impact on Harbor Area youth. From the “aha!” moments on a field trip to the deeper dives into careers, Paxton and his team are there for ITEP students year-round as mentors, guest speakers and role models. Also, the $3400 donation from this employee raffle combined with corporate sponsorship from Ports America is a much-needed and valuable investment in our community and youth.

“Money is like manure. It’s useless unless you spread it around to help young things grow,” said Paxton.

Thank you, WBCT!

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Two SPEA students pose with their new swag from WBCT.

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The results are in! ITEP Spring Break Job Shadow is a success!

By: Harlene Stanley, ITEP Program Manager

Spring Break 2012 – This year, 27 students from 3 high schools had unique and special memories of what they did on their Spring Break Vacation, because they were selected to participate in this year’s ITEP Job Shadow Program.

On April 4, 2012, each student had 5 hours of on-site experience at one of 12 different Advisory Board Members’ facilities where they had the opportunity to learn about local career opportunities, the professional skills necessary to succeed in various job functions, and the leadership and teamwork skills needed to thrive in a professional setting. Currently, three of the Job Shadow students are in the interview process for a summer internships. Job Shadowing is definitely on its way to be coming an annual ITEP event!

Both Site Coordinators and students were very happy with the results, and had the following to share about their experiences:

Jessica Neil: GBAC Advisory Board Member from Shell Pipeline reported, “The employment preparation workshops well prepared these students for the job shadow experience. They asked intelligent questions, had good manners and were excited to gain exposure.”

Ruby: GBAC Junior, wrote “I learned so much and I love the fact that all the employees have a really great positive attitude towards their work. I felt very welcomed at the Shell Pipeline Facility.”

Pax Bowman: a member of the San Pedro Earth Alert (SPEA) Advisory Board from West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT), evaluated the program by saying that, “the ITEP support and communication was excellent leading up to the Job Shadow Day… Our Job Shadow Applicant was well prepared and able to engage with the staff, which made his visit more productive.”

Ivan: SPEA student, “I was fortunate to be selected for the Job Shadow Program this year. We had to go through a process of creating a resume and cover letter, and what we needed to do for an interview. Then we had to do research on the company we wanted to Job Shadow and interview with them. It was really helpful and good information. Then I went there on Spring Break – no ‘party’ for me! I learned a lot about how important they are to the job world and to the environment.”

Mary Gutierrez: Global Environmental Science Academy (GESA) Advisory Board member from Valero: “My favorite moment was when the student sitting next to me at lunch said he wished it was a week-long event so he could learn more about the other jobs that the Refinery Leadership Team was mentioning.”

Lt George Kolumbic: United States Coast Guard, “It was a great learning experience… I think it says a lot about the students that they came on their Spring Break to learn about the Coast Guard, and I really have appreciated the opportunity with these students who care about their future and really want to be here.”

Luis: GESA Junior said, “I learned that I could join the Coast Guard and still go to college, and they will pay for my college, and I could become a teacher.”

To read more about the program click here!

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Filed under Banning High School, Carson High School, GBAC, GESA, San Pedro High School, SPEA

SPEA Celebrates 42nd Earth Day Anniversary

By: Harlene Stanley, ITEP Program Manager


The students and Advisory Board members from the ITEP San Pedro Earth Alert Academy (SPEA) at San Pedro High School, celebrated the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day on Friday April 20, 2012, with on-campus presentations and demonstrations that generated interest and awareness for the “Green Generation.” More than ever before, young people are getting involved by taking steps in their schools, homes and neighborhoods to protect the environment by recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans, volunteering for coastal clean-ups, and exploring the possibility of entering into green careers in the future.

To celebrate this event, 10 members of the US Coast Guard Base on Terminal Island, gave presentations that showed students the importance of their missions in the protection and stewardship of natural resources by eliminating environmental damage associated with maritime transportation, fishing, and recreational boating.

More than 45 presentations and demonstrations during the day gave students a wide range of topics and points of interest to consider. Guest Speakers from local organizations included Advisory Board Chair, Mike Schaadt, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Administrator, who, along with two other scientists from the aquarium, gave presentations on “Careers in Marine Biology and Oceanography,” as well as displaying a live grunion lab for students to interact with.

Pax Bowman, an ITEP Partner from West Basin Container Terminal (WBCT), presented the “Enviro-Jeopardy Game,” modeled after the television game show. Students showed how much they knew in areas  including:Earth Day, Recycling, Port Related Environment, and What Not to Do. Student teams became very competitive with each other, and were quite involved in capturing the most points to win the game.

In addition, Nancy Felix, from SA Recycling, spoke to students about “Careers in Environmental Management,” and had a presentation about how SA recycles scrap metal. Attorney Vivi Heger spoke on Environmental Law, and Dr Raymond Wells presented a community college approach to Programs in Marine Biology.

Student Council members were able to secure more than 200 signed commitment cards during the day-long event, with students having the opportunity to complete written pledges for “A Billion Acts of Green,” Earth Day’s way of mobilizing the power of people to create change by taking small steps. Each student was encouraged to write down at least one thing they would do to help protect the environment. The statements made by these high school students, show how much they care about the environment, and what they plan to do to help.

 

I wonder how many of us can pledge the same things that these high school students have?

“I will try not to leave trash anywhere so it doesn’t lead to our oceans or pollute,” said SPEA student, Juan G.

“I will reuse and save my bottled water…I also pledge to carpool to school,” R.C.

“I will use the bag I was given at thestore and that will help save plastic bags,” D.A. wrote.

And, other statements made by students include,

“Take shorter showers…”

“Turn off lights when not using it…”

“Walk, instead of ride…”

“Grow more plants!” What are the rest of us willing to do?

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Christmas came early for SPEA at WBCT holiday luncheon!

On Friday, Dec 16, students and teachers from San Pedro High School’s Earth Alert Academy (SPEA) were treated to a special day of holiday cheer and career discovery by the employees of West Basin Container Terminals/Ports America.

The group of eighteen seniors were selected to participate in this special day based on their academic and leadership achievements. This visit was hosted by Academy Advisory Board member and WBCT Terminal Manager, Paxton Bowman and  SPEA Advisory Board members including Craig Andrich, from SA Recycling, accompanied the group.

Students began the day by joining the WBCT holiday luncheon, where they enjoyed delicious BBQ with about 300 employees. The highpoint of the meal was the holiday raffle, which raised $3,500 to support the Academy. What a fantastic Christmas present for our students!

The students were then treated to a tour of the terminal where they were able to speak with different employees and learn about their jobs. The tour was led by two SPHS alumni and WBCT employees, Roberto Lo Grande and Giuseppe Napoli. At the end of the tour the group enjoyed a Q&A session with Paxton Bowman, Steven Trombley, and Kristina (Kasey) Bowden, who shared information about their career paths and their roles with the company.

Students came away from the experience filled with great food, new insights into the maritime industry…and a bag of goodies from WBCT to boot!

Thank you West Basin Container Terminals & PortsAmerica!

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