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Students from high school are working on solutions for environmental problems

Students from high school are working on solutions for environmental problems

High school students work on solutions to environmental issues

Reflos students were drawn from six schools. They had to work together to complete a project. (Photo by PrincessSafiya Buters)

High school students across the city spent the past year learning about and completing projects related to environmental issues through an internship. Reflo Sustainable Water Solutions 

They gathered last week at Arts @ Large, 1100 s. 5ThSt., to share the knowledge with their friends.

Students were paid between 10 and 15 hours per week. Reflo staff supported them throughout the process.

The Audubon team examined sensory gardens; Golda Meir focused on community clean ups; the team comprised of students from North Division, Rufus King, and Milwaukee School of Languages examined native plants and pollinators awareness. Students from Bradley Tech also studied fashion overconsumption.

Each project produces either literature for students to share with their peers, or an event that is planned by the interns. 

Reflo is a non-profit that focuses on improving green spaces, sustainable water practices, and research through education, research, and the implementation water projects. 

Wilniesha Smith, Reflo’s intern and outreach coordinator, stated that we want to expose students to careers they don’t know much about. The Midwest’s newest career is green infrastructure.

Lily Wohlt, a Rufus King student said that she chose the program because it was environmentally friendly. 

She said that I enjoyed being able and able to learn about many things while still being focused on the important things for our team. It was even better to be paid.

Others students stated that they received more than they expected from their internships. 

Azaria Kelly, a Golda Meir intern, stated that I had to learn how to be open-minded. Even though I believed people would agree with me, they didn’t. I had to learn how to be comfortable with that. 

Oliver Rodriguez, an Audubon High School intern said, “I didn’t realize how much work it takes to have clean water.” We learned all about it when they took us to Jones Island, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District’s primary wastewater treatment plant.

Students were awarded certificates for their efforts, and many stated that they plan to continue working in the environment after their internship ends. 

Kelly said that she wants to become a nurse. This has become an important part of my life, so I’m going to figure out how to do both.

Smith stated that the organization is always looking to recruit volunteers and get involved in the community. 

She said that the best thing about this work is the feeling of satisfaction students get when they understand what’s happening and how to achieve it.

For more information

Reflo will offer this program to Milwaukee Public Schools Students in the upcoming school years. Students can also participate during the summer internship. Find out more here. 

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