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Westlake Student Educates on Pesticide Use

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – Jasmine George understands the dangers of pesticide use and believes it is her mission to educate others on the worldwide issue.

“In America, the government here is so strong that we have the choice to take a stand against certain issues,” George said.  “It’s important that we utilize that because in other countries, they can’t do anything.”

George, a senior at Westlake High School, recently traveled to India this past summer, where she met with students in a local school and was made aware of Endosulfan, a pesticide that is widely used there.  The pesticide is banned in 84 countries, including the United States.  The Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA) states on its website that being exposed to Endosulfan may lead to multiple health issues, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.

After returning back to the U.S., George took the initiative to educate those in America about the global problem, specifically her classmates at Westlake.  George reached out to Principal Keith Schenker and members of the science department about making a presentation to classes in order to spread awareness.  Schenker said he thought it was a great way to make students aware of problems in the world that may not be directly related to their lives.

“It’s a part of a whole global community approach that we want to instill in students,” Schenker said.  “We want to make them realize that there are more than just issues that go on in Westchester County.”

George gave a presentation to students in chemistry, environmental sciences, and biology classes in Westlake’s auditorium last Tuesday morning.  After the presentation, she asked students to sign a banner that the students in India also signed, which pledged for a healthy lifestyle. George said it was no problem to get in front of such a large audience of her peers.

“I find that it’s a really open environment here at Westlake,” George said.

George will also be selling wristbands throughout the school year to raise money for an organization that spreads awareness about the dangers of Endosulfan.

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