Since the age of eight weeks old, I have had a passion for the outdoors.
Growing up, my mother took us on camping trips on every possible break or every time she could get work off. It was her goal to make the wilderness essential to our lives, but more importantly, to connect us to the amazing power of the greater outdoors.
Slowly, I saw our favorite camping spots were being surrounded by human-made structures. But not until this past spring did I realize just how much humans are damaging the natural world. This awakening led me to Climate Generation’s YEA! for education, support, and a community of strong youth.
A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending the Youth Climate Kickoff through YEA! MN. This event’s goal was to inspire and educate youth from around the state about the change they can make. This event helped me learn ways to become a better leader and open up to learn about what climate change means to me. Through this event, I met many new friends who share the common goal: to educate about climate justice, to become better leaders in our green teams, and to spread our word with more power.
The morning began with introductions, artwork, and other community building activities. We then went on to workshops; one about communication, another about writing letters to senators, and the last about waste sorting. We then went to breakout sessions, one on the Line 3 oil pipeline and action steps we can take, another about community health, and another about group attendance.
Overall, the Kickoff was a way to help boost thoughts, push on ideas, and create a safe community.
From all of this, I have gotten a perspective for what I personally plan to do for my community this year. I began developing a “climate club” in my local area, but now I expanded to outreach throughout the whole country, supporting my peers to take action.
Currently, one action project I have taken on – inspired by the Kickoff – is a compost project in my community. This takes a lot of work, but all in the good service of helping our climate and decreasing toxic gases! My hopes for this year are to learn more about ways I can promote change in daily activities to help with the climate, to take more action with iMatter, and lastly, to build a community web of support to back one another and share ideas.
YEA! MN has created such an open, welcoming, and reassuring community for all to join and see how their actions are making a change.