Leadership Academy Host: Ariel Dela Cruz, Cohort 19

Ariel Dela Cruz is a Leadership Academy graduate from cohort 19 and a passionate eco educator and sustainability professional. For her Academy project, Ariel gave a presentation to Edison Elementary’s 5th grade class in Long Beach to teach students about the need to keep our oceans clean by protecting the mountains and the watersheds; the importance of environmental justice; and how living next to the end of the Los Angeles River can affect their communities with the incoming water pollution. She also hosted a series of nature trips and gave students an outdoor guide to encourage families to explore the San Gabriel Mountains and outdoor areas during the summer. 

Ariel led a family outdoor event for Edison’s 5th grade class to White Point Nature Preserve and Royal Palms. She provided an outdoor outing for the 5th graders and their families as there is a lack of access to these types of events in their area and she wanted to give an opportunity for everyone to experience the outdoors. The event was free for families, who were provided with free transportation by bus and lunch. 

Ariel also led two walking field trips for the class to Golden Shore Marine Reserve, which is located at the end of the LA River Watershed and is one mile from Edison Elementary. She showed the kids what the LA River is and how the reserve is a vital part of their community, for the wildlife and the city. 


Learn more about Leadership Academy projects here.