Faiza Azam is a senior at John Dewey High School and found her passion for climate change activism while working with Resilient Schools Consortium (RiSC). Her work to make JDHS more resilient against future natural disasters led Faiza to realize she wants to pursue a career in environmental policy. Additionally, Faiza has worked with the New York Aquarium's Wildlife Conservation Society where she focused on protecting endangered marine wildlife by working to raise awareness about the harms of single use plastic pollution. Faiza convinced businesses near Coney Island to ban plastic utensils by marching for the ocean in a seastar costume on World’s Ocean Day, as well as organized and educated other youth about protecting marine animals at a Youth Summit. Her hobbies include listening to music, studying music and dance, gaming, learning new languages, and Broadway musicals.
First, thank you for making this year such a success. With your support, our organization empowered young leaders across the country to advance (and win!) bold climate policy. We organized over 400 outreach events, trained more than 1,000 students, published 70 media pieces, and held countless other actions to build youth support for urgent action to protect our future. And it paid off: we won the country's most ambitious and economy-wide climate bill in New York State (with our incredible partners at NY Renews) and are poised to get more policies over the finish line in early 2020. I hope you'll check out our 2019 Annual Report if you haven't already, and celebrate all we did together.
Cosima Balletti-Thomas is a recent Fordham University graduate with a bachelor's degree in Environmental/Urban Studies and an upcoming MS Finance candidate at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Cosima was a spring semester Field Representative with Our Climate and a current volunteer.
As the year comes to an end, we are so grateful to our supporters for making this one of our most successful years yet. As the youth climate movement grows, we can't wait to see what lies ahead... we know it will include more dedicated leaders, winning state policy, and holding polluters accountable!
Adilia is an Environmental Studies major and Writing minor at Seattle University. She aspires to be a journalist and environmental writer. Originally from Stockton, California, her interest in the environment has increased since going to school in the Pacific Northwest. As a Doris Duke Fellowship Alumni, she wants to continue her work in fighting climate change. She loves staying busy by working on her blog, Accidie and Affection, or having fun at a Jamaican Dancehall class!
Olivia is a sophomore at Boston University studying Environmental Analysis and Policy. She is originally from Seattle, Washington, where she enjoyed hiking, skiing, and swimming in local lakes and rivers. At Boston University, Olivia is involved in the Environmental Student Organization, which works to make Boston University more sustainable. She also writes for the Emerald Review, which promotes current news in environmental science and policies. Olivia also worked for a summer as a Sustainability Ambassador for her university, where she educated incoming students about Boston University’s efforts to be more sustainable. Olivia hopes to pursue a career where she can impact environmental policy. By working with Our Climate, Olivia hopes to build the foundational skills to influence environmental policy and be a role model for other aspiring policy influencers.
Ruby is a senior at Northeastern University pursuing her B.S. in Economics and Math, with a focus on environmental policy and sustainable food systems. She was a Northeast Fellow with Our Climate in the spring, and is currently a Policy and Research Fellow with Our Climate's partner, Climate XChange.
Maya Navabi is a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York pursuing a BSE in Mechanical Engineering. Coming from the Sonoran Desert, she grew up learning about water scarcity and environmental conservation in a unique ecosystem. After graduation, she wants to work in the Renewable Energy sector to make it more accessible for everyone. Along with Our Climate, Maya is the chairperson of RPI’s Student Sustainability Task Force, and tries to incorporate sustainability into every conversation she has.
Ayessa Mae Oasan recently completed her B.A.in Environmental Studies and a minor in Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University. She has been involved in a number of local green revitalization projects in Binghamton while attending university and is passionate about working directly with a community on creating an equitable and sustainable environment for all. Ayessa Mae was also an executive board member of the Asian Student Union on campus, setting a platform for topics in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) history, contemporary issues, and civic engagement to flourish. In her spare time, Ayessa Mae enjoys drawing, playing guitar, singing, and going to concerts.
As a young person in today’s society, I often feel like I, along with my peers, am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders - literally! When I first read about the rainforest being on fire for the third week straight, I suffered what seemed to be a hybrid of a heartbreak and a panic attack. Instagram and other forms of social media have highlighted the ominous predictions for sea level rise over the next decade, and I had already seen the videos of the Greenland ice melt, but for some reason, seeing pictures of the most diverse ecosystem on the planet turning to smoke, hurt far worse than what I had already known.