Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Roles at NAAEE:30 Under 30
Sarah is a 16-year-old climate activist working to engage young people in the climate movement and empower them to stand up and protect our planet.
How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities?
After seeing a lack of climate awareness in my community, I founded Climate NOW, an international youth-led organization focused on educating and empowering young people to take climate action. Climate NOW was founded in 2019, and has since worked with over 10,000 youth from across the world and provided educational presentations to over 70 K-12 schools globally. Climate NOW believes that the path to combating climate change is through youth education and awareness. After all, how can we expect someone to take action if they don’t understand the problem at hand?
As the Founder and President of Climate NOW, I have contributed hundreds of hours to recruiting and training volunteers, presenting to schools, developing curriculum for students, organizing team events, managing finances, and running the organization. Outside of Climate NOW, I spend my time working on the Born This Way Foundation Youth Advisory Board, running my town’s Climate Action Committee, and writing for various news publications regarding environmental issues.
Tell us about your journey to where you are today.
I was first introduced to the climate crisis in the 6th grade. My class spent a month dedicated to exploring the causes and effects of climate change. I began to understand the direct impacts that the climate crisis would have on my community, my future, and society as a whole. It was at this moment that I made a promise to myself to never stop fighting until I saw a future where the human race could thrive in a safe and peaceful coexistence with nature.
In 2018, I attended Youth Empowered Action Camp (YEA Camp). YEA Camp is a week-long summer camp for young people passionate about making a difference. It wasn’t until I attended YEA Camp that I truly believed my voice mattered and could ignite global change. YEA Camp taught me that despite my age, I had an important message to share with the world. Since then, I have been working tirelessly to bring climate awareness to the education sector and utilizing my experiences to help other young people speak up for what they believe in.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
If I could have a superpower, it would be the ability to speak with animals and nature.
Who do you look up to as inspiration?
Do I have to pick just one?! A few people who inspire my work are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Alessandra Korap Munduruku, and Kamala Harris.
What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?
You have something important and unique to add to conversations regarding the future of our planet, so don’t be afraid to speak up.