Happy 2017! This year, Girasol turns four, 
and what a journey it's been. 

Girasol has worked with 16 clients  
spanning 5 types of businesses. 

And Girasol is growing
! To start its fifth year, Girasol is bringing on its first-ever intern, Abbygale Gonzalez. Gonzalez is a Career Center Project Specialist at Emily's alma mater, UC Santa Cruz. Abbygale is originally from Watsonville, CA, and went on to UC Irvine, where she double majored in International Studies and Political Science. Abbygale is very interested in the intersections of human rights and environmental justice. She is very sharp, and Emily is thrilled to work with her!

Part of Girasol's growth is adding university lecturing as a vertical. In fall 2017, Emily will be a guest lecturer for a Nonprofit Management course at John Hopkins University. This brings the total number of universities Emily has consulted or published with to four: Harvard University, New York University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Virginia.

In addition to grants work, Emily also recently published a national news story for the Episcopal News Service . The story looks at what various ministries are doing nationwide to better serve the needs of women migrant farmworkers. 

"Latina farmworkers take care of their entire families, but Carabaña also tries to impart the idea that here in the U.S., they can do so while taking care of themselves. His staff members encourage women to take up self-care, sometimes by suggesting to women, "Why don't you take a day off and have your husband watch the kids?" This can come across as "feminist-splaining," so Cabaña urges organizers "slowly beginning to change the culture" to be sensitive.
"It's a lot to ask," says Carabaña, for women who work and prepare dinner at the end of the day to also make time for organizing. He recognizes it's hard to "lean out" of household duties when your husband doesn't know where the kids' socks are."

The California State Parks Foundation Park Enrichment grant program funded Environmental Charter Schools' new ¡Al Parque! program. This project grew out of ECHS student Ogechi Hubert's senior thesis idea. (This is Girasol's favorite work, "translating" betwe en ci tizens and the institutions that serve them.)

For this program, ECHS students will bring their families on monthly day trips to California State Parks around South and Southwest LA, such as Dockweiler State Beach, the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, and Los  Angeles State Historic Park. These trips will help ECHS families get outside and discover the incredible local opportunities for recreation, adventure, and discovery that lie just half an hour from their doorstep.

The Nature Conservancy funded an aquaponic tank - an aquatic garden system that houses both fish and plants - at Environmental Charter Middle School, Inglewood. Aquaponics will support classroom learning by allowing students to learn first-hand about the water cycle, ecological systems, biological interdependence, and creative solutions to environmental problems.  
US Bank funded ECS' work introducing  low-income youth of color to college and careers. ECS's project-based learning gives students real-life exposure to opportunities and networks to help them secure a pathway to success in higher education and the workforce.


Southern California Gas Company came on board to fund the Green Ambassadors Institute, ECS' in-person professional development program providing training, resources, and curriculum in best practices for environmental service learning. GAI is also funded by Boeing.