As of this day, I am concluding my freshman year of college at Florida Atlantic University. I am a part of the FAU Mission Green Association, the Climate Reality Training Corps, and IDEAS For Us. I am planning on spending my career fighting climate change with renewable energy and grassroots efforts. However, I wasn’t always passionate about the environment. I am using my own story to illustrate the impact climate education can have on any student, and why it is so essential.
At the start of my senior year of high school, I signed up to take AP Environmental Science. I had always had a slight interest in renewable energy, but I had never been very “passionate”. However, this class opened my eyes to the numerous problems our world is facing, along with the solutions to those problems. From what this class taught me, I decided to commit my life to environmental protection.
This class also prompted me to start an environmental club, present twice to my school board on solar power, join IDEAS, work with SolarCity, and much more. I won scholarship awards, studied abroad, and attended many conferences throughout the remainder of my senior year of high school.
These decisions shaped the way of my future, and shaped my personality. When I see trash on the street, I pick it up. I recycle more, I use water conservatively, I eat locally grown food, and I ride my bike more instead of driving. This is the impact an environmental science class can have on a student. Not every student will react in the way I did, but it gives them the knowledge and tools to choose if they want to be a steward to the environment.
There has never been a greater call to action on climate change, and it will only grow if we can correctly educate future generations. To the politicians, parents, leaders of any kind, I urge you to push our youth. Push them to learn about climate science. Push them to take these types of classes. It’s not just me. Every student who takes environmental science as a class is affected in some way. In order to create a sustainable future, we must educate those who will be living in it. They are our future.