Teen Urban Forester Alumni

To learn about our current Teen Urban Foresters, visit our staff page.

Spring 2021 Alumni

Wairimu Kimani goes to Eastside College Prep and joined the Teen Urban Forester team in fall 2019. She joined Canopy in order to make a difference in her community. After visiting Kenya and noticing the lack of trees, she decided she would like to make a positive impact in her own community. Wairimu likes to play volleyball and make art, and in her spare-time she loves to be as active as possible.

Alexis Lopez

Alexis Lopez is a junior at Eastside College Preparatory and joined the Teen Urban Forester team in fall 2019. He chose to work with Canopy because he loves the outdoors and believes that the internship is perfectly aligned with that. His favorite thing to do when not at school or work is to play soccer and hang out with his friends on weekends.

“My vision is to make East Palo Alto look nicer through trees.”

Francisco Lopez is a junior at Eastside College Preparatory School and joined the Teen Urban Forester team in fall 2019. He chose to work at Canopy because he would like to make a difference in his community by planting trees and creating a greener environment. In his free time, Francisco likes to play video games hike, camp, workout, and spend time with his family.

Bresy Perez

Bresy Pedraza Perez is a junior at Eastside College Preparatory and joined Canopy as a Teen Urban Forester in fall 2019. She chose to work at Canopy because she loves being out in nature and Canopy is a great way for her to give back to her community. In her free time Bresy enjoys playing with her little siblings and baking.

“My vision is to help children in East Palo Alto by creating more green space.”

Jaylen Wells attends Eastside College Preparatory School and joined the Teen Urban Forester team in fall 2019. He feels obligated to his community in East Palo Alto, and chose to work at Canopy to help spread the amount of green space by planting and caring for trees in the area. He enjoys playing video games, watching videos, and hanging out with friends.

“My vision is to plant trees in places that need them the most.”

Fall 2020 to Summer 2021 Alumni

Jailah Mitchell is a student at Oxford Day Academy and started as a Teen Urban Forester in Spring 2018. She joined Canopy to continue growing her communication skills and her knowledge of tree species. She also likes the physical aspect of the job and looks forward to growing stronger. Her favorite tree is the oak because there is a very old and beautiful one that hangs over the side of her house and it is home to many animals. Jailah enjoys walking around her neighborhood, especially under a starry night sky.

“My vision for my community is one where everyone is walking and biking, and proud of what they have contributed to make their neighborhood beautiful.”

 

Fall 2019 to Summer 2020 Alumni

Jada Riley

Jada Riley is a junior at Eastside College Prep. In spring 2018 she joined the Teen Urban Foresters because she needed a change in her life and wasn’t feeling academically or physically challenged. Joining Canopy has allowed her to gain much insight about her natural surroundings while also keeping her in shape. Her goal as a TUF is to bring more trees to the community. Her favorite trees are deciduous because there’s something very raw and comforting about a tree that is vulnerable without its leaves.

“My vision for my community is cleaner air and better respiratory health thanks to more trees.”

Jose Flores

Jose Luis Flores is a sophomore at East Palo Alto Academy. He joined Canopy as a Teen Urban Forester in September 2018 with the goal to help others and meet new people. He enjoys making videos and taking photos. His favorite tree is the apple tree because of the delicious fruit.

“My vision for my community is to have more trees.” 

Fall 2018 to Summer 2019 Alumni

Kelly Cortes started as a dedicated volunteer for several years before joining Canopy as a Teen Urban Forester. She has thoroughly enjoyed working with the Canopy team and is looking forward to her last summer as a TUF before entering Sonoma State University in the fall. Her goal is to care for the trees in her community and engage with residents to teach them how they can also care for the urban forest. Her favorite tree is the Chinese elm because it was the first tree she worked on with Canopy. Kelly enjoys reading and hanging out with friends.

“My vision is to see more green in my community.”

Xiomara Constanza

Xiomara Constanza is a senior at East Palo Alto Academy. She started as a Teen Urban Forester in summer 2018 because she enjoys planting trees and helping her community, and together they are one of the best experiences she has had. Her goal is to plant and care for trees, and to invite more community members to take part in stewarding their trees. Her favorite tree is the Maquilishuat because it’s really pink, looks beautiful, and is the national tree of her home country, El Salvador. Xiomara likes to read, dance, cook, watch movies, and help her little brother.

“My vision for my community is to have more trees and to support each other to care for the trees and make East Palo Alto healthy.”

 

Yancy Ariza is a senior at East Palo Alto Academy. She joined the Teen Urban Foresters in summer 2018 to have a healthier community. Her goal is to learn more about trees and help improve her community. Yancy’s favorite tree is the Maquilishuat, the national tree from her country. She likes to listen to music and do activities.

“My vision for my community is to have more trees like Palo Alto and Menlo Park.”

Karen Saucedo

Karen Saucedo is a returning Teen Urban Forester who previously worked with Canopy in spring 2018. She is a junior at Oxford Day Academy and her goal is to help people in her community be more connected and aware about the environment. She is also inspired by her dad, who is a landscaper, to learn more about plants. Her favorite tree is the ginkgo because of its unique leaf and in the fall the leaves turn into a beautiful golden color. Karen enjoys hiking and watching anime.

“My vision for my community is a future where there will be more trees planted for cleaner air.” 

Maria Magaña

Maria Magaña started as a Teen Urban Forester in summer 2019 and is a senior at Menlo-Atherton High School. She wanted to join Canopy because she likes to help the environment. Her goal as a TUF is to learn how to care for trees and to be more responsible as an environmental steward. Her favorite trees are the redwood and willow because they can grow pretty big and old. Maria enjoys playing basketball and eating.

Jennifer Martinez

Jennifer Martinez is a junior at East Palo Alto Academy and started as a Teen Urban Forester in summer 2019. She joined Canopy because she would like to help her community in any way possible. Her goal is to learn how to plant and care for trees, and to meet new people. Her favorite tree is the redwood because they grow to be so tall. Jennifer enjoys listening to music and playing with her young niece.

Maria Vargas

Maria Vargas is a junior at East Palo Alto Academy and started as a Teen Urban Forester in summer 2019. She wanted to join Canopy because it is a new experience and she thought it would be interesting to work with trees. Her goal as a TUF is to learn more about trees and how to really care for them. Her favorite tree is the maple because it is beautiful. Maria enjoys going out with her friends and taking walks with her mom.

“My vision is to have a community full of trees and people caring about them.” 

Paola Maciel

Paola Maciel is a student at Eastside College Prep and started in summer 2019 as a Teen Urban Forester. She joined Canopy to learn more about urban forestry and she looks forward to doing direct work that benefits the community. She has a great vision for East Palo Alto, where trees are on every street so that everyone is constantly surrounded by greenery the promotes a healthy natural, academic, and social environment. Paola enjoys gardening and is an artist who likes to paint and draw.

Karen Downs

Karen Downs is a senior at East Palo Alto Academy. She joined the Teen Urban Foresters because she would like to experience being part of a group that is trying to change the way things are. Karen’s goal is to learn how to plant trees and to be able to show others what she has learned so they can plant trees too. Her favorite tree is the willow because of its shape, its leaves, and because it is interesting to look at. She likes to take long walks on streets where she can see trees everywhere she turns.

“My vision for my community is that by planting trees, it can change how someone feels and reduce stress.”

Rayshaun Jordan is a senior at Eastside College Prep. He joined the Teen Urban Foresters in spring 2018 to get involved in his community and make a change. As a TUF, Rayshaun’s goals are to inspire others in his community. His favorite tree is the bottlebrush because of its beauty. Rayshaun loves to write poetry and listen to music.

“My vision for my community is to see East Palo Alto regain its tree canopy.”

Summer 2018 Alumni

Jailah Mitchell joined Canopy as Teen Urban Forester in Spring 2018 and has continued into the summer for a few reasons. Canopy has helped her to get outside and to help the cities around her. She is also able to meet and talk to new people without being as nervous as she used to be. She wants to plant as many trees as she can, to not only help the people, but the cities too. Jailah is a sophomore at Oxford Day Academy.

“Planting trees is hard work and bringing the community together to plant them is my vision.”

Eduardo Macial joined Canopy to help the community by planting trees all around East Palo Alto. He started as a Teen Urban Forester in Spring 2018 and wants to continue through the summer because he really enjoyed the work over the school year and wants to learn even more about trees. Eddie is a sophomore at Oxford Day Academy.

“My vision for my community is to make it a place for everyone to love and a place where you feel safe to enjoy the outdoors.”

Jonathan Villanueva is a sophomore at Eastside College Prep. He joined Canopy as a Teen Urban Forester so he could give back to his community while learning something at the same time. He loves being outside and hopes to learn more about the life outdoors. In his free time, he likes to play video games. His favorite tree is a maple tree. When he goes to college he plans to study computer engineering.

“My vision for the community is that we take care of the trees.” 

Jajuan Dickey is a sophomore at East Palo Alto Academy. He joined the Teen Urban Foresters in Summer 2018 because he would like to help the environment. He learned about Canopy from his older brother who used to work as a Teen Urban Forester. His brother was a hard worker and he wants to be like him. Every day he sees plants dying and not getting the help they need, so he would like to help them. Jajuan’s favorite hobbies are playing basketball, learning about trees, and star gazing.

“My vision for the my community is to see trees grow and see green all around.”

Spring 2018 Alumni

Karen Saucedo enjoys watching anime and studying. Her favorite tree is the gingko because the leaves are unique and it was the first tree she learned about when starting to work with Canopy. She wanted to join Canopy because she wants to see a positive change in her community. After high school, Karen wishes to study about law and to become the president of the United States.

“My vision for the community is to one day come together and become a family and to see people happy.” 

Esbeydi Medina was drawn to Canopy because she is interested in taking care of trees and would like to try something new. Her goal is to show people how important it is to care for their trees and to inspire them to take good care of their own. Her favorite tree is the Japanese zelkova. She enjoys hanging out with friends and going on adventures.

“My vision for the community is that everyone gathers together and treats each other as a family.”

Jose Brambila wanted to work for Canopy as a way to help and be around the community. His goals for Canopy are to plant over 10 trees and to improve his speaking skills. In his free time, Jose likes to play soccer and run. His favorite tree is the baobab tree because of the way it looks.

“My vision is for a community where we see the importance of trees and do not harm them.”

Summer & Fall 2017 Alumni

Andrea Perez is a senior at Woodside High School. She recently joined the Canopy team because she believes in the importance of helping a community and the environment. For hobbies, Andrea enjoys playing badminton, tennis, and watching crime related documentaries. In the future, she aspires to work in the fields of broadcast journalism and criminal justice. Her favorite tree is a Cherry Blossom tree.

“I want to spread with others the importance of caring for our trees and the positive effects it can have within our community.” 

Kelly Cortes is a rising junior at Eastside College Prep. She has been volunteer with Canopy for several years, and participated in the TUF program in summer 2016, too. Her goals as a TUF this year are to attain more work experience and improve her leadership skills. Her vision for the community is to see more trees and greenery. She wants to show her community what Canopy can do to better their environment. Her hobbies include reading and computer science and her favorite tree is the Chinese Elm.

“My vision is to spread awareness to see more green in my town.”

Amil Muwwakkil attends Eastside and is going into her sophomore year. She joined Canopy this summer because she wants to be more aware of what is happening outside. This also allows her to work with people her age who have the same goals and aspirations of giving back to their community. For hobbies, she works out and loves to make people laugh. Her favorite tree is the palm tree because it makes her feel like she is on vacation.

“I want to see Oakland greener, to encourage a better working environment.”

Akasha Fobbs will be a sophomore at Eastside College Preparatory. For fun she enjoys hanging with friends, cooking, and drawing. This summer she joined Canopy as a TUF because she wants to get to know her community better. She also is looking forward to having a fun summer while bettering the environment around her. As a TUF, Akasha wants to learn more about what she can do to protect her community and meet new people. After high school, Akasha wishes to study marketing.

“My vision for my community is to create a cleaner and safer environment so kids and adults can enjoy the outdoors.”

 

Harold Kirkendoll, will become a senior at Eastside College Prep. Harold enjoys spending time with friends and family by playing sports and talking with them. Harold became a Teen Urban Forester to learn more about trees and what they require to grow. Harold is interested in studying sports medicine and body movement in the future. His hobbies consist of reading political and sports articles.

“My vision is having a clean and efficient community where people can do community service for fun.”

Jaime Ramirez is a rising junior at Eastside College Prep and is a part of the school’s soccer team. Apart from soccer, he is interested in mathematics and engineering. He became a Teen Urban Forester in hopes of the East Palo Alto community becoming more environmentally friendly and nicer to look at. He enjoys helping the environment and likes the Oak tree because it provides lots of shade and is common in the Bay Area.

“I want to see my environment more clean so that more people will enjoy the outdoors.”

Luz Abarca is a senior at Woodside High School. She enjoys participating with groups like Acterra and Grass Roots because she likes protecting the environment and giving back. She wants to learn more about tree care and make an environmental impact as a TUF. Her vision for her community is for an increased awareness on the importance of protecting the planet. For fun, Luz likes to workout, go on hikes, and do make-up. She is involved in Youth & Government which consists of debates and creating bills. After high school, she plans to study environmental science or environmental protection and management.

“One that plants trees, loves others besides himself.”

 

Alexander Aldama is a junior at Woodside High School. He is sixteen years old, and joined Canopy’s TUF program because he would love to get job experience and loves nature. He also likes to learn how trees can help the environment and how to help them grow. He rows in crew and likes to work out and spend time with his friends and dog. He also loves to do community service to help improve his community. That is also why he would like to study biology or environmental science in college.

“I want the next generation in community to have a cleaner and greener environment.”

2016 – 2017 Alumni

eric-perez

Eric Perez is a Sophomore at Eastside College Preparatory School where is he also a member of the debate team. He is interested in climate change and the arts, and likes to spend time reading articles, going to the movies, and crocheting. He joined Canopy’s Teen Urban Foresters in the fall of 2015. This year, his goals are to improve his leadership skills and bring his community closer together. His favorite trees are avocados and redwoods because they represent his culture as a Mexican-American.

“My vision is to see the community unite and thrive!”

liz-chavez

Liz Chavez-Trujillo is a Junior at East Palo Alto Academy. In her free time, she enjoys shopping, taking walks, going to the gym, watching movies, and visiting San Jose.  She is excited to work at Canopy because she believes we should keep our planet green and clean.  She likes to communicate with different people and experience things that she didn’t know before.  Her favorite tree is the cherry tree because it has beautiful features and she loves the blossoms.

“My vision is that one day we can all work together to make this a better place!  We need to unite for a change!  Together we can change the world.”

juan-chavez

Juan Chavez-Trujillo is a Junior at East Palo Alto Academy.  He likes to spend time outdoors, paintball, work out, and hang out with friends.  His prior experience working with plants sparked his interest in Canopy.  His goals as a Teen Urban Forester are to gain practice leading volunteer groups and to plant as many trees as possible.  His favorite tree is a cherry tree because he had one when he was younger and it reminds him of his childhood. Cherries are also his favorite fruit to eat.

“My vision is that one day my community will look like a city in a forest.”

cynthia-perez

Cynthia Perez is a Senior at Eastside College Preparatory School.  She enjoys drawing and painting with water colors.  She was inspired to join the Teen Urban Foresters after volunteering at Canopy for her school CARE Project last year.  She likes the sense of community at Canopy, and is excited to work with people who have the same interests.  Her goal is to become an expert in tree planting and tree care.  She hopes to learn and share quirky facts about trees with her friends and family. Her favorite tree is a type of eucalyptus that has crescent-shape leaves and a nice smell.

“My vision for the community is to spread awareness about the importance of trees and caring for the environment.”

alex-quintanar

Alexander Quintanar is a Senior at Eastside College Preparatory School.  He really cares about the environment and is concerned that everyday the earth is getting hotter and hotter. In the last three years, he has noticed that more and more trees are getting cut down in his hometown of Redwood City, including one in front of his house.  As a Teen Urban Forester, he hopes to plant trees so that future generations can enjoy and appreciate their benefits.  His favorite tree is the avocado tree.

“My vision for the community is for the people to unite to make this place greener for future generations and for the greater good for the environment.”

 

Ashley Jack Teen Urban Forester with Canopy

Ashley Jack is a Senior at Eastside College Preparatory School. She joined Canopy as a Teen Urban Forester in the spring of 2016. Her favorite part about planting trees is the enthusiasm of neighbors in the community and smiles on people’s faces. This year, she hopes to learn more about tree planting techniques and tree care so that she can confidently teach others. She loves working with children and hopes to pursue a career in child development, particularly in low-income areas. She enjoys listening to music, shopping, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends. Her favorite tree is the cherry blossom.

“My vision for East Palo Alto is for it become a more green community and have the youth of community come out and help make that possible.”

 

2015 – 2016 Alumni

Elizabeth Perez

Elizabeth Perez recently graduated from Eastside College Preparatory School and will be attending Gonzaga University in fall 2016. She joined Canopy’s Teen Urban Foresters in the summer of 2014 after first volunteering with Canopy in 2013 to plant trees at her former elementary school. She has been caring for trees ever since. Elizabeth’s favorite tree is the Silver Lead Linden and she enjoys journalism, debate, and outdoor activities.

“My vision is for the community to be more aware of the environment.”

Marcus Law

Marcus Law is a Junior at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy. He joined Canopy’s Teen Urban Foresters in the fall of 2015. He loves playing sports and is interested in marine biology. His favorite tree is the oak tree.

Diamond Allen

Diamond Allen is a Junior at Eastside College Preparatory School. He joined Canopy’s Teen Urban Foresters as a freshman in the fall of 2014. Diamond’s favorite tree is the Wollemi Pine, which is the first tree he planted. As a Teen Urban Forester, Diamond enjoys getting to know volunteers and being able to give back to the community.

“My vision is to inspire others and to start a chain of change in my own community.”

Erick Hernandez will be a Junior at Eastside College Preparatory School. He likes to run, and is on the Eastside Cross Country and Track & Field teams. He was inspired to join the Teen Urban Foresters as part of his school’s CARE Project so that he could give back to the community. Erick’s favorite tree is the Maple.

“My vision is for the community to become a better place by planting more trees.”

Kelly-Cortes

Kelly Cortes will be a Junior at Eastside College Preparatory School. She enjoys reading fantasy books and drawing. After volunteering with Canopy for a year, she was inspired to join the Teen Urban Foresters as her first job in order to keep working within her community. Her favorite tree is the Chinese Elm.

“My vision is for the community to have more trees.”

Dylan Berumen

Dylan Berumen graduated from Eastside College Preparatory School in the class of 2016 and will be a Freshman at UC Santa Cruz in the fall. Dylan volunteered with Canopy throughout high school and has a passion for helping the environment and encouraging others in the community to get involved as well. Dylan’s favorite tree is the Redwood.

“My vision for the community is to become more active in helping out the environment.”

Fernanda Marquez

Fernanda Marquez is a Senior at Eastside College Preparatory School where she is also on the debate team. She joined Canopy’s Teen Urban Foresters in the winter of 2016. Fernanda’s favorite tree is the lemon tree because she had one in her backyard as a child and has fond memories of making lemonade and lemon bars with its fruit. She is looking forward to developing her leadership skills and positively impacting the community as a Teen Urban Forester. She aims to study business in college to fulfill her dream of starting her own make-up line.

“My vision for the community is to create a healthier environment that I can look back on in 10 years, and say that I made a difference to my community, and the next generation.”

 

2014 – 2015 Alumni

Cristal Ochoa is a Junior at East Palo Alto Academy. She joined the Canopy Teen Urban Foresters in summer of 2015. Cristal loves to be active with hobbies like soccer and volleyball. As a Canopy TUF member, she’s excited to learn more about trees and nature, as well as improve her communication skills.

“My vision is for the community to look more colorful—not dry!”

Francisco Vargas

Francisco Vargas is a Junior at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy. He joined Canopy’s TUF team in summer of 2015. Francisco loves to play football during the week and spend his weekends eating, sleeping, and playing. As a Canopy TUF member, he’s looking forward to learning about trees and improving his leadership skills.

“In my vision for East Palo Alto, I see a non-violent community.”

Lizette Chiprez

Lizette Chiprez is a Junior at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy. She joined the Canopy TUF team in summer of 2015. Lizette loves playing soccer, and spends a lot of time outside harvesting her family’s vegetable garden and fruit trees. As a Canopy TUF member, she’s looking forward to being outdoors, getting to know new people, gaining self-confidence, and helping the community.

“My vision for the local community is to have many trees around because they are helpful and beautiful.”

Hector Torres

Hector Torres is a Junior at East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy. He joined Canopy’s Teen Urban Forester crew in the spring of 2015. Hector loves to spend time with family and friends, and play with his dog, Doobie. During his time as a Teen Urban Forester, Hector is looking forward to working with his classmates, meeting new people, and learning about how Canopy’s work helps trees in the community.

“My vision for the local community is to see more green everywhere.”

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