Sammy Lyon collaborates with schools and organizations to incorporate service learning and sustainability education into their core practices. They* lead professional development workshops for educators on tools and best practices for supporting youth leadership and community-based learning, with a focus on integrating critical media literacy and ecoliteracy principles into program design. They are passionate about youth empowerment through environmental and social justice, and work with students to design environmental education programs that are both beautiful and ecologically just.
Sammy first became passionate about environmental education and service learning when they taught their first after school garden program in Springfield, MA, after completing a B.A. in Government and Urban Politics at Smith College. In college they worked at several organic farms and excelled in horticulture, but when they saw urban food systems growing out of small hands in parking lots and school courtyards, they knew their place was in education.
Sammy went on to earn an M.A. in Education, Leadership & Change from Antioch University, focusing their research on developing critical thinking and community engagement through service learning. To be back in their beloved hometown of Los Angeles doing the daily work of social change through meaningful education and youth development is both an honor and a privilege.
Sammy also specializes in creating compelling documentaries that highlight the important work people are doing to create positive change in their communities. Sammy’s focus on oral history and co-authorship allows them to form creative partnerships with communities to create educational media that touches audiences. These videos are web-based public education projects meant for sharing and connecting people.
In addition to their professional work in education and media, Sammy has co-hosted Feminist Magazine, a weekly feminist radio program on KPFK Pacifica 90.7FM and volunteered with AWARE-LA. You can also find Sammy riding a bike around LA and making kimchi and kombucha at home.
*They is a gender-neutral pronoun used by many people to indicate gender fluidity outside of the male/female binary. Grammatically, they replaces he and she; them replaces him and her; their replaces his and her. Though many may say that the singular they is grammatically incorrect, the English language is always changing with common usage and discomfort with grammar often indicates a discomfort with language that challenges the norm. Although there are many gender-neutral pronouns, they has gained popular influence and feels most appropriate for my personal gender identity. For more info about they as a pronoun, check out this great Tumblr called They is My Pronoun and ‘How using ‘they’ as a singular pronoun can change the world’ outlining the transformation of language over time (and proving that the singular ‘they’ is actually grammatically correct).