Westborough Middle School campus

Westborough Middle School’s Planeteers Are Out to Save the World

Westborough Middle School’s Planeteers pose with South San Francisco Mayor Buenaflor Nicolas.
South San Francisco Mayor Buenaflor Nicolas paid a visit to Westborough Middle School’s (WMS) Planeteers Club on October 12 to thank the students for helping to raise environmental awareness and improve sustainability at their school.
She also emphasized the importance of community and how improvements can happen when citizens get involved. 
“I am so proud of my Planeteers,” said WMS teacher and Planeteer Club advisor Corinna Low. “They are using their voices to take action and make positive changes. They care about people and the planet. They are using their knowledge and education to find solutions, and they are donating their effort and time to do what they can.”  
Westborough Middle School's Planeteers Club attempt to raise environmental awareness.
When Nicolas asked the Planeteers how the City of South San Francisco could help the club be even more effective, the students requested lids for the trash cans they were using to collect material for the school’s composting program.
“I didn’t know that the mayor was a Filipina,” gushed Planeteers Club President Phoenix Gudiel. “It’s such an honor that she would take time out of her busy schedule to spend time getting to know us and help us.”
The students got a lot out of the mayor’s visit. 
Phoenix invited Nicolas to sign a petition urging the South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) school board to declare a state of climate emergency, while other students signed up to help clear debris from catch basins and reduce flooding through the city’s Adopt a Storm Drain program. 
“Their big takeaway was that if everyone does a little to help, it adds up to a lot of big changes,” said Low. “I think that is really important when we look at our planet and the direction we are headed.” 
According to Low, the mayor first learned of the Planeteers Club when she saw more than 70 WMS students at California’s Coastal Cleanup Day, which took place near Haskins Way in September. 
“She was telling me how wonderful it was to see so many kids cleaning up the coast on a Saturday,” Low said.
Nicolas concluded the visit by promising to ask South San Francisco’s chief sustainability officer about what resources the city could provide, and she invited the Planeteers to participate in some upcoming events and urban greening programs. 
“For a leader to listen to kids and show them how they can help was inspiring and made them feel like they mattered,” said Low.