Virginia Teen Leads Climate Action with Clothing Drive
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Virginia Teen Leads Climate Action with Clothing Drive

Students in the Climate Leaders Fellowship learn about climate change and environmental sustainability. The program then guides them in designing and launching a volunteer project, such as a clothing donation drive, in their own communities.

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

Junnah Sheikh’s recent participation in the Climate Leaders Fellowship led to a meaningful project focused on promoting sustainable practices through a local clothing drive.

Teens standing behind a car filled with bags of clothes for their coat clothing drive.

Clothing Drive: Making a Difference One Coat at a Time

Junnah Sheikh
Sidwell Friends School

My name is Junnah Sheikh. I am a 15-year-old student who lives in Virginia. I am an ice skater and scout. As a participant in the Climate Leaders Fellowship, I embarked on a mission to advocate for sustainable clothing practices within my community.

Tackling Textile Waste

In this fellowship, I advocated for the sustainable use of clothing to prevent old coats or jackets from ending up in landfills in my community. I held a clothing drive at my local masjid, Mclean Islamic Center, and recruited a team of people to help me organize and donate the clothes. In doing this, I advocated for donating clothes instead of just throwing them away to reduce the amount of waste in landfills and contribute to a sustainable future.

See previous coverage of Junnah’s CLF efforts here and here

Community Mobilization

I recruited a team of a few girls in the area and organized a day designated for organizing and accepting clothes from people in my community and another day to drop them off and donate them to FAITH, an organization whose goal is to build stronger and kinder communities.

Making a Difference in My Community

Throughout my project, my goal was to engage with the people in my community because they have the power to make a difference. I care about the health of our environment, so I wanted to encourage people in an active way to help make a difference.

Every person counts, and this could possibly lead to a healthier future. The people who donated were very happy to have a place to send their clothes that benefited other people. We ended up collecting a total of 45 coats for children and adults!

Reflecting on the Impact

I loved participating in the Climate Leaders Fellowship because it made me feel like I was taking action to work to stop the climate crisis. I am proud of the work I have done to support my community and make a difference in the world!

Read more success stories of Climate Leader Fellows making real impacts on their local community. 

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone

Kayla joined Rustic Pathways in 2020 as the Director of Special Projects. She has nearly a decade of experience in communications and marketing. At Rustic Pathways, Kayla is dedicated to helping high school students discover their passion for exploring the world through summer travel programs. She drives impactful initiatives to empower students through meaningful travel experiences worldwide. Based in San Jose, California, Kayla loves the outdoors, live music and travel.