I am here today, not to talk about myself, but to encourage each and everyone of you to take action in your own community. I will share a model that we use at PHS to model change. It has been successful to us, however, you may find a different model that works for your school. It doesn’t matter as long as youth take leadership. All that matters is finding a solution; look for ways to make a difference, no matter how small or big.
We youths have come a long way in taking action towards climate change and making the impact that is needed. The ECO club has made many changes to Portsmouth by focusing on the 3 main pillars: student leadership, school engagement, and community engagement.
Starting with student leadership, there is always a rotation of young student leaders from freshman to senior. This structure has helped involve freshmen and sophomores better in the projects that the ECO club work on, helping them proceed with year-long projects.
Next on school engagement: our mission for the school is to create an awareness of sustainability for our peers. We’ve worked hard within the school community to eliminate styrofoam lunch trays and empty vending machines. We've also implemented a greenhouse and planted multiple gardens.
And finally, on community, we’ve had a lot of support when it comes to spreading sustainable acts. We’ve raised $15,000 for solar panels to power the school’s science wings, filled planters throughout downtown Portsmouth, and have been involved with the Blue Ribbon’s committee via Drawdown.
We are currently working on fundraising $200,000 for a bigger greenhouse, attending speaker events, and taking opportunities to push sustainability as a value in our school culture. We would love to have the community’s support to make the schools’ sustainability policy better.
I encourage each and everyone one of you to take any step necessary to create change. ECO Club is here whenever you need it. Reach out to us through our social media. We look forward to partnering with other organizations present today. Together, we can make a difference.