Environmental Leadership Position Available for Students

Joseph Kratz, Managing Editor

In a time with as much political discourse and pessimistic news as the period in which we live, teenagers can often feel disenfranchised due to their lack of direct political input. Luckily, the Fairfax County Government makes that less of a fantasy and more of a reality.
As the website states, “The Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council (EQAC) is an advisory group that has been appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to advise the Board on environmental matters.” That council is actively seeking a new student representative, and the application process is open to all sophomores and juniors who attend Falls Church High School, as any student can apply. The student who eventually garners the position would then serve for their junior or senior year respectively.
One of the Fairfax County EQAC’s premier responsibilities is the compilation of an annual report on the status of the environment, resources, and pollutants within the Board of Supervisors’ jurisdiction. This report is essential in informing and shaping many of the decisions made throughout the next calendar year regarding environmental ordinances.
While the annual report may be a signature piece of the Environmental Quality Advisory Council’s job, they continue to convene throughout the year, meeting on the second Wednesday of every month.
There are many positions within the government that are available to high school students that the overwhelming majority of students do not take advantage of. Not only is the position a solid résumé builder, but it allows you to directly engage in the research, discussion, and debate surrounding the passage of local legislation. Local legislation is an oft-forgotten level of government, but local laws and ordinances are those that most directly affect the largest swaths of the American populace.
The application and information are readily available online, but there are a few requirements beyond the grade obligations. It is required that you are available for the monthly meetings, engage in the meeting procedures and business, and have a vested interest in local environmentalism. The application, which is due April 27, also mandates a submission of a high school transcript and a topical, 500-word essay.

The Fairfax County EQAC serves an important role in protecting and
maintaining the natural resources of our community.
(Photo by Joseph Kratz)