Intern Spotlight: Canoga Park Outreach

Climate Resolve offers numerous year-round internship opportunities to students interested in climate change, sustainability, public policy, advocacy, and community outreach. We’d like to introduce you to them, their work with us, and how they’ve helped make Los Angeles a stronger and more sustainable city in the face of climate change.

Sandra Muñoz (pictured left) and Karina Jimenez (pictured right) recently finished an internship with Climate Resolve, where they assisted with a community project in Canoga Park. The project aims to address a number of concerns: improving biking and walking safety, reducing heat and its impacts, capturing and managing water, and providing community amenities. This project is being done on behalf of Streets LA (formerly City of Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services) and in coordination with Council District 3. The project team of Alta Planning + Design and Climate Resolve hope to reach diverse community stakeholders to decide what are the challenges related to transit access and heat around Sherman Way Station, and which design strategies would be best to meet those challenges.

Hello my name is Sandra Muñoz, I am 19 years old and I am a student at the California State University of Northridge. After having completed my first semester at CSUN I have decided to double major. I will be earning a Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Chicano studies by the year 2022. My goal is to become educated enough to successfully impact the lives of those who live in my community. 

Why is this project important to Canoga Park?

I was born and raised in Canoga Park. Canoga Park is my home and I’ve witnessed a few changes that have occurred in the community that are for the people who live here rather than those changes that attract others to visit our small city. I strongly believe this project aims to help improve the lives of those that live in this community, and that alone makes this project important.

What did you contribute to this internship with Climate Resolve?

My contribution to this internship was pitching the idea that we should visit the local high school and ask students to take the survey. This idea came to me while I participated in intercepting surveys on Sherman Way and Canoga, after I had seen many students from the high school walking by or towards the Sherman Way station. The contribution was small but helped get us a great number of survey responses. When gathering surveys on the Sherman Way station, I was able to meet many people who were willing to take the survey due to my outgoing demeanor. 

What did you gain from the internship that you’ll take with you into the future?

As outgoing as I could possibly be I recall encountering moments of difficulty through this process. These moments came when I would attempt to translate to community members the purpose of this project. I often found myself tongue tied which is very unlike myself. Nevertheless after observing Natalie’s encounters, I proceeded to regroup and explain clearly the project’s goal outcome. I learned that at times it is best to study the expert and attempt to create a form of communication that works best for me.

 Hello, my name is Karina Jimenez I am a CSUN Bridge to the Future Scholar and I recently interned for Climate Resolve. My major is Geography and while I just completed my first year of college, I look forward to gaining more knowledge in environmental sciences. 

Why is this project important to Canoga Park?

This project will help the community of Canoga Park by making the area more comfortable to be in. Growing up in Canoga I have always noticed the busy people taking public transportation, primarily parents taking their kids to school and then going to work. This, however, becomes a more difficult task with unbearable temperatures in the valley. 

What did you contribute to this internship with Climate Resolve?

I participated in conducting intercept surveys at the Sherman Way Metro Orange Line Station as well as building partnerships with key stakeholders and informing them about the benefits this project  provides. I also had the amazing opportunity to do outreach with future stakeholders at Canoga Park High School, my former high school. 

What did you gain from the internship that you’ll take with you into the future?

Working alongside professionals helped me gain a better understanding on how to do presentations and communicate with large crowds of different backgrounds.

Climate Resolve