Press Release

Contact: Lori Whalen

Phone: (949) 335-8656 (cell)





ENC Intern Receives Everyday Young Hero Award For

Exemplary Community Service from Youth Service America

Newport Beach, Calif., November 24, 2020 – Last week, Youth Service America recognized Environmental Nature Center Intern Emma Zebrowski of Irvine, as an Everyday Young Hero for the work she’s done as the ENC’s Video Intern. Emma filmed and edited an informational video about the ENC Nature Preschool, a video to teach about the importance of native plants, a video to help the ENC’s Nature Campers be “Zero Waste” when they come to Camp, and more.

“Emma’s work motivates people to be less wasteful and damaging to the environment,” said ENC Assistant Director Lori Whalen. “She hopes that by creating awareness she will inspire others to live more sustainably.”

Emma became interested in climate change after attending a 3‐day leadership training program led by Al Gore and his Climate Reality Project in Seattle, Washington in June 2017, when she was 13. At the conference, Emma learned that climate change causes more than just high temperatures. She was inspired to teach others that climate change causes extreme weather, catastrophic fires, droughts, harm to animal habitats, and loss of land mass. Emma has been using her videography and editing skills to educate people about the many issues related to climate change.

 “We know that young people are uniquely suited to help solve problems - if given the opportunity,” said Steven A. Culbertson, president of YSA. “Today’s social and environmental problems are immense; we need youth in this country to be leaders and problem solvers today, not just the leaders of a distant tomorrow.”

The Everyday Young Hero award recognizes young people who are actively engaged in serving their communities and acting as a role model to other potential change makers. It is a chance to shine a spotlight on Everyday Young Heroes in our communities who would otherwise go unnoticed. To learn about YSA’s Everyday Young Heroes visit

About the ENC

Founded in 1972, the Environmental Nature Center has a mission of providing quality education through hands-on experience with nature.  The 5-acre landscape for learning contains a fascinating combination of 15 California native plant communities, wildlife habitat, walking trails, and a sustainably designed, LEED Platinum certified learning center. Serving over 28,500 students and tens of thousands of visitors annually, the ENC is recognized as a leader in science and social science education. For nearly 50 years the ENC has provided equitable access and inspired all to protect the natural world by serving as our community’s leader in ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education.  The ENC is a non-profit 501(c)-3 public benefit corporation.  For more information call 949-645-8489, or visit The ENC is located at 1601 16th Street in Newport Beach.

About Youth Service America

YSA (Youth Service America) helps young people find their voice, take action, and make an impact on vital community issues. YSA activates, funds, trains, and recognizes young people ages 5-25 and their adult partners. Their vision is a global culture of engaged children and youth committed to a lifetime of meaningful service, learning, and leadership. For more information, visit