The Power of Mentoring: Young Trash Heroes On the Loose – Dr. Plastic Picker

The Power of Mentoring: Young Trash Heroes On the Loose

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Faculty sponsor for an application

September 25, 2022

by Dr. Plastic Picker

It’s 759am and we just returned from gathering 5 bags of pollution from the ocean’s edge. I sat with my daughter after a very pleasant walk from our house to the beach, where I recounted some of my silly dreams to her. It’s was a very nice walk and we helped the earth and had a nice morning. We are having breakfast now as I’m typing away some quick thoughts.

Due to various reasons I’m not in Florida watching my brother-in-law reach a professional and personal milestone. It seemed safer to stay in San Diego and not risk the other guests getting COVID. I don’t have COVID but others in my family had COVID and because they were vaccinated and boosted and treated in time, they are doing okay. But there was the risk of spreading it to a lot of wonderful people, and honestly I had so much stuff to catch up on – I appreciated the time at home and being able to be here with my children. Case in point, I would not have gotten to go on this morning’s walk if I had gone to Florida.

So today will be a quiet day, but I’ll make sure to make time for the various students that I’ve somehow found and come under my sphere of influence. The above is probably the most impactful right now. One of the third year UCSD medical students is applying to be an editorial fellow for an AMA Bioethics magazine and is looking for my guidance. I agreed to be the faculty advisor/sponsor and help in whatever capacity they needed me, as the proposed focus is going to be bioethics surrounding Environmental Justice work.

Then yesterday I had a premedical advising call with one of our advocacy interns at UC Berkeley and it was very powerful to plan her medical school application. She’ll be incorporating work on waste reduction in her academic portfolio, and we have a large HMO waste reduction project we want to do together. It’s very niche. It will save our HMO lots of money, provide an opportunity for her, and I just saved her personally hundreds of thousands of dollars of unnecessary debt from an unnecessary post-bac. Hopefully her premedical advocacy work will save the earth lots of unnecessary future trash as well!

And then another daughter of a close family friend and one of my patients is going to join in on our youth and art’s exhibition, but the poetry section. This will be just very close children in our family and friends, as I need to keep this contained and doable for my own children. I’m putting them to work for the earth, but need to balance with their other responsibilities.

And that is it. Just thinking of things I need to today and things I already did for the earth!

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