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Nonprofit helps high schoolers campaign for clean energy and climate policies » Yale Climate Connections

Many high schoolers worry about global warming.

“And so they’re trying to figure out, ‘Well, there’s this big, overwhelming existential crisis. I had very little to do with it, but I’m going to be the most impacted by it because I’m inheriting it. What can I do?’” says Tonyisha Harris of Action for the Climate Emergency.

The nonprofit teaches young people how to campaign for climate and clean energy policies.

In working with high schoolers, Harris draws on her own experience. She began her activism as a student, too, and she knows it can be intimidating to speak up.

“Whether that’s giving a classroom presentation or speaking on your own social media platforms, or learning how to be an advocate and getting over that discomfort of, like, the first step of calling a legislator, that can be so scary,” Harris says.

So she encourages young people to take small steps. And she says over time, the students gain confidence.

“By the time they’re in college or they’re young adults, they’re brave and bold and they’re like, ‘I can go talk to the governor of my state and question them on what they’re going to do about the climate emergency, no problem.’ And we’ve seen that happen,” Harris says.

So she says over time, the students’ influence and impact grow.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media

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