Teaching and Empowering Youth: Utah Student’s Climate Change Initiatives
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Teaching and Empowering Youth: Utah Student’s Climate Change Initiatives

The Climate Leaders Fellowship program teaches students about climate change and environmental sustainability, and guides them in designing and launching a volunteer project in their own communities.

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

Read about Leah’s experience below!

My name is Leah Chun. I am currently a sophomore in high school and I enjoy learning about tech, interactions about topics that interest me, and trying to understand world issues.

One issue that I commonly found throughout my Utah community was the lack of knowledge of what is happening to our climate. I noticed that people unknowingly use recycling systems incorrectly, litter often, and many citizens did not realize that there were simple things they could add to their routine to help the world and slow the pace of how climate change is affecting our society today.

After realizing these issues, I figured out the main problem: the younger generations do not understand what climate change is, and how it is affecting us today. Although younger citizens usually can not make the biggest impact today for our climate, I figured that it is highly important that younger kids understand what climate change is and how they can help now and later.

With the main problem I had figured out throughout my community, my local library was the first place I had thought of to introduce kids to climate change. I began to design posters that had little wording, bold colors, and a design that would attract the attention of kids.

Along with the help of the librarians, I was able to set up an interactive table, where kids could look at the poster I had designed with books with the subjects of recycling, the Earth, and climate change. I had also laid out a worksheet where kids would fill out one thing they did everyday for a week to help the climate.

After the short two weeks my climate change introduction table was set up for, kids throughout my community were able to get a proper introduction to what climate change is and how they can start helping now.

As an email from my school counselor had led me to the introduction of Climate Leaders Fellowship, this fellowship was able to bring my social interactions into a better stance. The weekly Zoom meetings were able to not only give me a break from school, but they had also led me to engaging with people globally who were all interested in climate change.

At the end of the spring Climate Leaders Fellowship, I certainly feel accomplished that the younger parts of my community were able to learn about a serious issue that surfaces our society today.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone