Student Speaks in NYC

Courtesy CASA    Left to right, Alameda High School Senior Caroline Choi, Haley Organ of New York and Johanna Reimer of Massachusetts receive awards from Robin Buchanan of Project Green Schools and Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine.

Alameda High School senior Caroline Choi traveled to New York City (NYC) last week to participate in the third annual NYC Green Schools Conference. She addressed the  international convention hosted as part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and Climate Week Sept. 25. 

As a member of Project Green School’s National Youth Council, Choi was invited to speak at the conference about her role in starting Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA) Youth, as well as founding an environmental club on her high school campus called “Amplify.”   

Choi discussed the lasting effect educators can impart with “green education” and how it can encourage students to get involved with local government. 

“It was a bit scary presenting alongside people I look up to, like Stephen Ritz,” said Choi. “But as soon as I got up to the podium, I gazed out into the crowd and saw a lot of adults smiling at me. At that moment, I felt really encouraged.” 

Choi said that while small efforts certainly do make an impact, students should be unafraid to work with large, bold actions and goals.  

“Adults and youth have to work together. We can’t antagonize each other. Not every adult is out to kill the planet and not every youth is uneducated and apathetic,” she said. 

Choi and two students from Sleepy Hollow High School, N.Y., and Mansfield High School, Mass., were presented with an Award of Achievement by Stephen Ritz and Project Green School’s executive director, Robin Buchanan. 

Choi was invited to future UNGA summits through Project Green Schools. During her time in New York, Choi also met with the Fridays For Future (FFF) NYC climate strike organizers and exchanged stories. Choi shared stories about her, and CASA Youth’s, leadership in the Sept. 20 Climate strikes. 

“I left New York feeling motivated to do more. From the FFF students mass-organizing a city of more than eight million to cinematographers documenting indigenous leaders, each and every one of them was nothing but inspiring.” 

 

Amos White is a member of CASA, the community-wide coalition dedicated to raising awareness, mobilizing community action, and facilitating the implementation of programs to achieve the goal of Alameda’s Local Action Plan for Climate Protection and to increase community sustainability and well-being. He is also vice chair of the Climate Emergency Mobilization Task Force.