Enroll with Chaperoned Flights - Before Flight Prices Increase on April 1 Find Your Program
Climate Fellowship Teens Set Out to Raise Funds and Educate Their Community About Ocean Acidification
All Articles

Climate Fellowship Teens Set Out to Raise Funds and Educate Their Community About Ocean Acidification

Harrison and his Climate Leaders Fellowship project partner worked to educate their Pebble Beach community about how ocean waters are changing.

Stanford University’s Deliberative Democracy Lab and the Rustic Pathways Foundation collaborated to offer high school students the Climate Leaders Fellowship program. The program challenged students like Harrison to create a project tailored to the needs of their community and engage with other participants around the world.

Read about their project below!

Harrison Wilmot
Age 17
Stevenson School
Pebble Beach, California

What was your Climate Leaders Fellowship project?

For our Fellowship project, our goal was to raise awareness about ocean acidification in local Monterey Bay waters.

Donating to an organization called LiMPETS that teaches young students along the coast of California about varying climate change issues through experiential learning or climate monitoring lab work, my partner, Kate, and I raised $32.82, helping fund lab equipment for the students and educational programs for teachers.

What were the results of your project?

On a crisp Friday morning on December 9th, 2022, we organized a “cocoa and climate” booth on our school’s amphitheater stage.

At the end of our one hour and twenty minute informational session, we handed out 70 flyers, gave away 35 free hot cocoa cups, and sold 48 donuts out of the 48 we bought (for $2 each).

We also started an Instagram account where we gained 21 followers over the course of December 2022.

Teachers and students alike flocked to our booth not just for the donuts and hot cocoa, but to learn about how our waters are changing and we barely even know it!

At the end of this project, we were able to donate the profits online to LiMPETS and educate Pebble Beach, CA community members about ocean acidification and how it is affecting our marine life food chain along with tying into climate change’s overall impact throughout the world, especially fossil fuel emissions.

How did the project and results make you feel?

Participating in the Climate Leaders Fellowship made me feel fulfilled even though we were unable to quantitatively help mitigate ocean acidification through hands-on beach work. It made me feel a little uneasy that we could only collect donations and just send it to an organization for them to do all the physical work, but at least we knew it was going to help with something meaningful.

I am proud that we earned profits and while I hoped it had been a little more, it was satisfying to see that our school’s students and teachers were getting the message that this really is an important issue that needs to be addressed in our community.

During the Zoom meetings, I made friends with a lot of people and always felt supported during the brainstorm and execution phases of our project. My partner and I consistently received feedback about how we could improve and we always knew that finishing it would be attainable.

Overall, the fellowship made me feel encouraged to help out more, and that is why I will continue to find opportunities in my community to do just that.

What do you enjoy doing for fun?

I enjoy playing soccer, surfing, going on runs, playing Texas Hold ‘Em, and hanging out with my friends and family. Additionally, I love to spend time in nature and appreciate the beautiful spot I live in on the Monterey peninsula.

Do you have any ideas about your future career aspirations?

I plan to major in something related to communications, public relations, and/or marketing. For my career, I aspire to be a public relations executive or marketing executive in business.

I love meeting new people, communicating to people, and understanding people so I feel any of those life paths could open doors for me.

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

The advice I would give to students who want to make a positive impact is to find something that they love and work to support it.

If you choose something that you don’t really care about and are just helping the cause because you feel like you have to, don’t. Find something that you actually care about and that will make you feel accomplished while making an impact at the same time.

Our next fellowship round launches soon.  For more information and to sign up, please visit our Climate Leaders Fellowship program page.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone