USC Environmental Health Centers

Current news, events and research projects of the Environmental Health Centers based at USC

EJ Youth Fellows

2022-2023 Cohort

The EJ Youth Fellowship program is a part of USC's Children's Environmental Health Center. Youth environmental justice leaders from Los Angeles / Southern California will have the opportunity to learn about community-driven research & participatory science and conduct their own research project over the summer. The students will meet and work with other youth who are passionate about environmental justice and health as well as collaborate with USC staff, faculty, and students.


We would like to introduce our 2022-2023 cohort.

Linh My Tran

Age: 19   

Hometown: I'm from Vietnam and I've been living in El Monte, CA ever since.  

Ever since I became more environmentally conscious, I felt the need to contribute to my society more and more. This is an issue that pertains to all nonliving and living species and it is a personal issue for me as I've been exposed to environmental harms.  


Ryan Cho Kim

Age: 15 

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA 

I am passionate about environmental justice because I want to know what I can do to help with the environment, learn the different kinds, and apply the things I learn to my daily life. 


Berenice De Anda

Age: 19  

Hometown: La Puente, California 

I am passionate about environmental justice because I want to mitigate the effects of environmental racism. I believe that everyone should have access to potable water and clean air! 


Lizbeth Zambrano-Sanchez

Age: 18 years old 

Hometown: East Los Angeles.  

I am passionate about environmental justice because hoods and Indigenous people across the world have the right to thrive in their hometowns/lands.  


Malaika Phiri

Age: 17  

Hometown: Long Beach, CA  

I am passionate about environmental justice issues because they impact every aspect of life. There seems to be a lack of awareness and support for these issues, despite the utmost importance to creating environmental equity and ensuring the sustainability of our planet. I want to lend my voice and efforts to educate and bring awareness to the issues. 


Adiba Adrita 

Age: 16  

Hometown: Koreatown, Los Angeles 

I am passionate about environmental justice because I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to receive both the education and resources to be environmentally aware. 


Sydney Erin Kelley

Age: 20 years old 

Hometown: Long Beach, CA 

My passion for environmental justice has grown as an extension of my lifelong love of the environment and learning about ecology on a local and global scale. Environmental justice as a concept is something I want to explore and advocate for because I believe environmental advocacy must have an emphasis on social justice in order to be truly effective. 


Alexis Elise Martin 

Age: 16 years old 

Hometown: View Park, Los Angeles.  

Oil drilling tends to occur dangerously close to neighborhoods primarily of marginalized identities. In my Los Angeles neighborhood, the oil drilling's threatening impact on nearby ecological habitats and residents empowers me in advocating for my community's environmental justice. 


Natalie Darlene Rubio

Age: 18  

Hometown: Bell Gardens  

As a resident of an impacted community, I have witnessed the effects of the freeways and industries near my home— I desire to establish a healthier community by being at the forefront and taking immediate action. I yearn to give back to my community by becoming an environmental engineer since the community has given me more than just life, but humility for 18 long years. 


Daisy Cano Ruiz

Age: 15 

Hometown: Los Angeles 

I'm passionate about environmental justice because I want to make a real change in my community. I believe that learning all there is to learn about environmental justice is something that everyone should experience and fight for. 


Cindy Santiago

Age: 19  

Hometown: Perris, CA 

Growing up in the Inland Empire, which is notorious for its worsening air quality, I experienced firsthand the effects of climate change on communities of color. I want to help advocate for communities like mine so that, as a collective, change can happen. 


Julia Bustos

Age: 16 years old 

Hometown: East Los Angeles specifically Lincoln Heights!  

I am passionate about environmental justice because I believe it’s a basic human right everyone should have. I hope I am able to help in making a change in my community!


Bradli Powell

Age: 17 years old 

Hometown: Carson, California.  

I am passionate about environmental justice because I want to make an impactful change on this world. I believe in a clean, healthy, fair, environment, and strive to take the necessary steps that will aid us in gradually reaching this goal.


Itzak Salazar

Age: 15 

Hometown: Loz Feliz, Los Angeles 

I am passionate about Environmental Justice because I was lucky to grow up in a community where I learned the importance of maintaining and providing for the environment. I was always taught that to make a change you have to be the change, so that’s what I strive to do. 


Citlalli Islas

Age: 17 years old 

Hometown: Boyle Heights.  

The reason I am passionate about environmental justice is because for a long time I was unaware of a lot of environmental issues and the impact they had on the surrounding communities because I thought that environmental justice only revolved around climate change. As well as seeing how a lot of these environmental injustices happen in communities like mine and noticing how a lot of people in the communities have come to normalize these issues and are unaware of what's happening. 


Victoria Virgen

Age: 17 years old  

Hometown: Pacoima, California.  

Having lived in an environmentally impacted neighborhood my whole life, advocating for environmental justice allows me to heal the devastation I felt growing up for the lack of parks and clean air in my community. 


Marissa Guadarrama Oropeza

Age: 17  

Hometown: Koreatown, Los Angeles.  

I’m passionate about environmental justice because I deeply believe that our response to climate change be done equitably regardless of socioeconomic status. I want to be the voice for those communities that have been marginalized and left behind in climate policy. 

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