Founded by Roger Silveira in 2018, We Need Fresh Air is an organization dedicated to improving student achievement one breath at a time.
Silveira, who is also director of facilities maintenance and operations for the East Side Union High School District in Northern California, knows the importance of building ventilation and how it helps students learn better and achieve higher test scores.
We Need Fresh Air has several goals, including:
- Reducing the health problems caused by indoor air pollution and poor building ventilation;
- Improving student achievement and attendance by educating on the importance of fresh air;
- Promoting healthy indoor environments by communicating our research findings;
- Maximizing the use of state-of-the-art tools, techniques and technology to promote awareness of the consequences of poor indoor air quality;
- Providing webinars and training material for school districts;
- And working with organizations like CASH (Coalition of Adequate School Housing) to lobby for legislation to fund and provide oversite to improve IAQ in schools.
About Roger Silveira
Roger Silveira has been in the construction and building maintenance industry for more than 30 years.
Starting his trade career as an automotive technician, Silveira moved to the more lucrative construction industry. Following several years in construction, he worked for a truck leasing company as their facilities and fleet manager.
Back in construction, he ran his own construction company from 2003 until 2010. When the Great Recession hit at the end of the decade, Silveira closed his company and liquidated some developments. He knew he needed something more meaningful.
From 2010 to 2014, Silveira worked for a couple of tech companies, but because the focus was solely on shareholder profit, he found the job unsatisfying. It was then that he decided to put his skills and expertise to use in academia, serving students, teachers and school districts.
While still recovering from the loss of his business—and the loss of his mother—Silveira landed his first job in education. He liked that job more, but he still felt the need to more directly support students and teachers, and to convey the importance of a healthy learning environment.
While in his first year of work for another school district in 2017, he read an article about high CO2 levels in classrooms. From that moment, Silveira became obsessed with learning everything he could about ventilation and excessive CO2 levels in classrooms, ultimately leading him to found We Need Fresh Air.
Silveira has certifications from Stanford University, the International Facility Management Association and several trade schools.