Nonprofit UCSB student organization Environmental Education for the Next Generation is eligible to win $100,000 in the Dockers “Wear the Pants” contest.
Founded by UCSB students in 2009, the EENG is one of five finalists from an applicant pool of 3,300 and the only student-run association in the competition. The group discusses environmental issues in first and second-grade classrooms through interactive activities and experiments tailored to California Education Standards.
Applicants submitted essays through Facebook explaining their life ambitions and how they would utilize prize money to achieve their goals. The competition’s prize will be awarded to whichever group earns the most votes on their Facebook page.
EENG Founder Ryland King said the educational and organizational development teams plan to expand the program nationwide within 10 years.
“Education is the foundation that empowers humans to reshape some of the edgy corners of our world,” King said. “I want to empower people to do that for the rest of my life.”
The program is taught in 24 classrooms at 12 schools in Goleta and Carpinteria and plans to expand into the San Luis Obispo area. The organization would use the prize money for training, certification and transportation and to purchase new classroom and volunteer supplies for its Santa Barbara chapter. The funds would also help develop the club’s division at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Group Marketing and Public Relations Manager Sarah Kelly, a fourth-year global studies major, said the organization plans to spread to cities with universities as much of its support comes from fellow students.
King said the team’s success in the contest boosted the organization’s morale and encouraged university groups to support the EENG.
“It’s been unbelievably exciting to be [a part of EENG] with the whole UCSB team supporting us,” King said. “It’s great to us that all the student groups such as [Community Affairs Board] and [Environmental Affairs Board] came together.”
According to EENG’s Organizational Development Director Nick Allen, a UCSB alumnus, the program was officially established in August 2009, stemming from an A.S. Environmental Affairs educational campaign that gained recognition from the academic community.
“Without question, it’s our passion for the cause that drives our program’s success,” Allen said. “Now teachers are eager to work with us to bring sustainability education to their classrooms. It’s really exciting stuff.”
Allen said he is confident the organization will win the contest in light of UCSB’s success in the online voting competition for the “Your Highness” premiere.
“With the help of the UCSB community, we know we can rock this vote and lay the foundation for a brighter future for us all,” Allen said.
Students can vote for EENG online at facebook.com/dockerswearthepants/ until May 1.