California Student Leads Donation Drive to Limit Overconsumption During Spirit Week
All Articles

California Student Leads Donation Drive to Limit Overconsumption During Spirit Week

The third cycle of the Climate Leaders Fellowship program has wrapped! Teens researched the effects of climate change in their own communities and created plans to address the issue.

Fellowship students worked with other young climate fellow students from around the world to compare ideas and help each other. In the end, incredible impacts in their local communities.

The online program is offered as a collaboration between the Stanford University Deliberative Democracy Lab and the Rustic Pathways Foundation.

Learn about Kate’s project and upcoming donation drive!

Kate Ragatz
Age 15
Sacred Heart Preparatory
Woodside, California

Tell us about your Fellowship project!

For my fellowship project, I planned a Spirit Week donation drive for my school in the Bay Area, California. The project will be implemented later this year, during my school’s Spirit Week.

The project consists of collecting Spirit Week apparel, such as clothing, accessories, and themed props, from students at Sacred Heart to repurpose for future Spirit Week celebrations.

I completed this project in the hopes of (1) helping limit the extreme overconsumption in the fashion and clothing industry, which often arises as an issue when students purchase clothing to wear only for Spirit Week Day, and (2) helping to provide underprivileged students with clothing to participate fully in Spirit Week.

Through the use of email and physical flyers, as well as a partnership with my school’s Service Organization, I hope to spread the word and encourage participation in the apparel drive.

How did participating in the Climate Leaders Fellowship make you feel? 

I am so grateful to have participated in multiple Climate Fellowships in the recent years. This fall, I took part in my third Climate Leaders Fellowship as a Student Facilitator.

Not only did this role give me incredible insight into larger scale leadership–organizing groups of students, running meetings, and helping students facilitate tangible change, but it also provided me with a much deeper understanding of how our global community is experiencing the climate crisis.

I was wildly impressed by the efforts of the climate fellows, many of whom I had the chance to guide during the program. As a result, the program provided me with hope – for a generation of climate leaders and activists.

On top of that, completing my own project gave me a great content connection to my community, as well as general insight into how my community faults and flourishes when it comes to our climate.

I am really proud of how far we have come as a group and the impact we have on our communities and each other! I look forward to facilitating future change and using my newfound skills and community to foster a climate-friendly world.

What do you enjoy doing for fun?

Outside of my academic pursuits, I immensely enjoy playing soccer, tennis, and snowboarding, as well as hiking and running. I take every chance possible to go on an adventure, whether that is trying out a new sport, waking up extra early to hike a mountain, or reaching out to new people. I also love to write, which is nourished by my role as a co-editor in chief of a social justice magazine, GirlTalk.

Do you have any ideas about your future college major or career aspirations?

I plan to major in computer science and economics. As an adult, I am interested in pursuing environmental and political activism. I hope one day to start a technology company that both helps to limit our environmental footprint and provides me with a platform to influence broader social and political change.

Do you have advice for other students who want to make a positive impact? 

My biggest piece of advice for those hoping to make a positive impact in the world is to follow your passions. There are so many important causes out there, some higher profile than others.

But change requires relentless effort–hard work, sacrifice and putting yourself in uncomfortable positions to advocate for what you believe in. Deep commitment and the joy of making a difference in a cause I believe in is what motivates me.

In a world where navigating social change can feel overwhelming, it is beyond important to be able to recognize what areas you are drawn to; I believe that this focus is ultimately what will drive to have the biggest impact. If you are looking for something fulfilling, I truly advise you to follow your heart.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone