Freedom's CENS program is winning grants and making positive impacts around the region. See some highlights below.

NOAA Grant participation

Freedom CENS Wins NOAA Grant

Students Engage in Schoolyard Stormwater Training


Student Panelists at Regional Summit

3 PWCS students - two of which are Freedom students - served as panelists and presenters at a regional summit.
Ashley Munoz-Trujillo and Stephanie Ruiz Molina from Freedom High School and Elizabeth Short from Patriot High School were asked to share their experiences while participating in a GMU-PWC campaign on marine debris, funded by NOAA. Students have been working on collecting data, creating social media campaigns, and discovering barriers as part of a Community based social marketing campaign (capitalize all) to reduce the use of single-use plastic beverage bottles. The three students served as presenters and panelists for the virtual summit, during which they shared their experiences in the project so far. During this first year of the two-year project, the students have so far experienced collecting single-use plastic beverage bottle data (that revealed between the two schools more than 10,000 single-use plastic water bottles are used per week), learning how each school's stormwater pond drains into local watershed, participating in ichthyoplankton sampling, and making social media posts to reach peers. After their presentation, the students then fielded questions from attendees on how to best connect with today's youth when trying to make a difference. Dr. Cindy Smith, GMU PEREC, told the students, "you three were awesome! You helped bridge the gap with 'older' folks who work in research, outreach, and advocacy and may not have or work with any youth and thus do not know the best ways to connect with them."
Ashley Munoz-Trujillo stated, " I was extremely nervous presenting as it was the largest audience I've ever spoken in front of. With the support of my teacher and friend, it went over easily. I learned so much and overall enjoyed the experience. Hearing what others are doing was also very inspiring."
Stephanie Ruiz Molina shared that the experience was "most definitely fun but nerve-wracking. I'm glad I had the opportunity to represent an opinion on behalf of my peers. I would be very happy to take more of my peers out to visually see what's going on."