San Luis Obispo, CA – Cal Poly graduate student and California Coastkeeper Alliance intern Sarah Schneider is the recipient of this year's Anne McMahon Scholarship.
Sarah is pursuing a master's degree in public policy with the goal of pursuing a career dedicated to finding solutions to California's growing water issues. Sarah's thesis work is on the meaningful participation of California's marginalized communities in water policy and planning processes.
"I believe that access to safe, clean drinking water is a crucial element in any living being's life," writes Sarah in her application for the scholarship, "…and disadvantaged groups are disproportionally impacted by top-down policy decisions….I truly believe that we cannot create sound policies without having all affected groups participate in the decision-making process."
Sarah volunteers a great deal of time to numerous causes, working 10 hours per week for the SLO Coastkeeper Chapter in addition to her studies.
Sarah was part of a volunteer tsunami clean up crew in Crescent City in 2011 and coordinated the Green Campus and Take Back the Tap programs at Humboldt State University, where she graduatedSumma Cum Laude in 2010. That year Sarah was awarded the Outstanding Environmental Science Student of the Year.
Her work with other Humboldt State campus groups led to the university prohibiting the sale of bottled water across campus.
"Receiving the Anne McMahon Scholarship and attending the Central Coast Bioneers Conference will not only serve as an inspiration to keep working toward water justice and sustainability, but also to help connect me to people in the community who are working ardently for social justice and environmental protection," says Sarah.
She will be presented with her award Saturday morning, October 20, at the beginning of the day's program.
The Anne McMahon Scholarship is awarded to individuals 18 years of age or older who have demonstrated leadership potential in the fields of public policy, politics, education and/or journalism.
The scholarship is given in the memory of Anne McMahon, a prominent political activist and leader in the environmental communitywho worked tirelessly to preserve beautiful areas important to San Luis Obispo County, such as the Santa Margarita Ranch and Carrizo Plains. Congresswoman Lois Capps, eulogizing Anne in the House of Representatives, described her as a tireless advocate for the environment and someone with a "relentless commitment to leaving the world a better place than when she found it."
The Central Coast Bioneers Conference for Monterey, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties is an annual three-day, solutions-focused gathering that brings together a diverse audience to create deep and positive change in their communities.
The conference summons environmental, industry and social justice innovators all working to catalyze a movement to heal our world.
This year's conference runs from October 19th through 21st at the Monday Club in San Luis Obispo.
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