By T’Noya Thompson
Conservation efforts in the Houston-Galveston region have increased with the introduction of The Report Card Champion Program. It is a new advocacy program that gives students and community groups the skills and knowledge needed to cultivate action for Galveston Bay. In addition – it creates an inspiring awareness to action in the current and next generation of conservationists. It seeks to empower the community in the Houston-Galveston area to advocate and preserve Galveston Bay – a vital natural resource for our health and economy. In its first year, the program reached over 174 number of students.
The program consists of a workshop followed by a project or campaign that can be used to conserve Galveston Bay. It can be tailored to elementary through high-school or adult groups and includes:
- A comprehensive introduction to conservation leadership, specifically focusing on Galveston Bay issues, will be provided to all participants.
- Next, an overview of professional development skills will be presented – such as the importance of building partnerships, team collaboration, and project development.
- Lastly, hands-on activities to promote communication skills and deepen understanding of complex issues present in Galveston Bay.
This program is necessary now more than ever.
Our global environment problems cover a multitude of complex issues. By cultivating an ethic of conservation and environmental stewardship through initiatives like the Report Card Champion Program, the Galveston Bay foundation will continue to reach out to the future generations and successfully engage on these concerns. Specific to the Houston-Galveston region, we face coastal change, habitat loss, pollution, and major flooding events. By engaging in the Report Card Champion program, future leaders understand what causes these issues, how they relate, and how to act.
This program is now more necessary than ever because as the human population continues to rise, we expect the magnitude of environmental issues to increase. Conservationists are working diligently to communicate the importance of sustainable behavior change at the local and global level. As future leaders, Report Card Champions will continue to do so as well.
As Report Card Coordinator, I am excited to share the Report Card Champion program with our region’s students. I look forward to expanding the reach of the program to additional schools and around Galveston Bay. And as our program expands, our ability to protect Galveston Bay for future generations will strengthen.
Are you interested in hosting the Report Card Champion Program in your school? Please contact T’Noya Thompson, firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-332-3381 ext. 223.
T’Noya Thompson joined Galveston Bay Foundation as Report Card Coordinator in May 2017. Born and raised in the Bahamas, T’Noya felt connected to nature at an early age as there was much to explore and learn from. A deep connection to the ocean inspired her to attend Texas A&M University at Galveston where she received a B.S. in Marine Biology in 2005. From there, she began working at Moody Gardens in the Animal Care Department. Over past 12 years, T’Noya served several roles at Moody Gardens and connected with the community on various levels. In December of 2018, T’Noya received a Global Field Project Master’s Degree in Biology at Miami University through Project Dragonfly. T’Noya is passionate about collaborating conservation with community engagement and is excited to apply her experience to GBF. She looks forward to connecting with the community to preserve Galveston Bay for future generations.