SBHS student honored for ocean advocacy

Shelby O’Neil creates ‘No Straw November’ campaign

San Benito High School student Shelby O’Neil, center, was presented the Paul Walker Foundation’s Youth Leadership Award for her ocean advocacy work. Submitted.

San Benito High School student Shelby O’Neil was presented the Paul Walker Foundation’s Youth Leadership Award and scholarship Aug. 11 for her ocean advocacy work, including creating a successful campaign called “No Straw November,” which asked people to pledge not to use plastic straws for one month.

O’Neil earned national exposure through the Martha Stewart Living magazine and the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. She convinced Alaska Airlines to ditch plastic straws and toothpicks on all its flights (a story picked up by Fortune magazine).

O’Neil was even flown to the headquarters of Delta Airlines to promote her campaign; spoke at Dreamforce, the annual user conference hosted by Salesforce.com in San Francisco; and won unanimous California Coastal Commission support for “No Straw November.”

But she didn’t stop there.

“For a Girl Scout Gold Award, I created a nonprofit called ‘Jr. Ocean Guardians,” said O’Neil, whose organization is “teaching younger schoolchildren the importance of the oceans and how they can help.”

Teen, adult mentors needed as Tech Wizards

Tech mentors ages 15 and older are being sought for a weekly, year-long commitment to guide third- and fourth-grade students through hands-on science activities.

Organizers are seeking individuals “to make a difference in the lives of young children through mentoring.” The program is a partnership between 4-H and the Youth Alliance.

Training starts Sept. 26 from 6-9pm at Calaveras Elementary School, located at 1151 Buena Vista Road in Hollister.

In addition to earning community service hours, mentors with receive a T-shirt, transportation assistance and $200 for regular attendance.

For more information, contact Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty at (831) 637-5346 ext. 12 or email at [email protected], or Rosio Valadez at (831) 636-2853 or email at [email protected]

Free breakfast, lunch to all HSD students

Beginning this 2018-19 school year, Hollister School District will provide free breakfast and lunch to all HSD students for the first time, according to an announcement from the HSD Student Nutrition Department.

Due to the district’s expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision, regardless of families’ economic eligibility, all students will be served breakfast and lunch at no charge.

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