Updated: Jan 27, 2021
This September, Sophia Ware, a junior at Piedmont High School attended the Bay Area Youth Climate summit. She was pursuing a Climate Action Plan (CAP) that had been brewing for a while -- a new green club at her school! This year, the Piedmont High School Green Club launched a campaign called Students for Solar, with a goal to enable the newest STEAM building at their high school to be 100% renewable energy-powered. As a youth-led initiative advocating for net-zero energy, they hope to connect with the Piedmont community and while reducing carbon emissions for a more sustainable future.
Eventually, the leadership team grew to include twelve committed students from PHS and its neighboring high school MHS (Millennium High School) of all grade levels. Through weekly meetings outside of school, many discussions with the Piedmont School Board, and talks with City Council Members, they were able to finalize logistics and costs. Finally, Students for Solar decided on a goal of $400,000 to pay for the installation of solar panels. Starting virtually certainly brought challenges for the campaign as the ability to fundraise and spread the word about their campaign was made much more difficult. Even so, as of this week, the project has raised $21,800 of its goal, coming from community members, students, and their families. Although there is still a long way to go, $21k is an impressive start!
Sophia points out that while students are the fire behind a cause, community members like "teachers, city employees, district employees or other professionals" are what guide you. She says these individuals "will be your allies and provide you with more connections, to get you closer to your goal. They can help you form a more concrete Climate Action Plan." Her advice to those who are looking to create change is "first, go out into your community. See on the streets what needs to be fixed, or ask community members what change they would like to see."
There are many ways you can help Students for Solar! For more information and resources about the campaign, check out their website, Facebook page, Instagram, and fundraising platform. If you are able to donate, you can do so through their website. Additionally, be on the lookout for an upcoming virtual event to officially launch Students for Solar publicly!
Now, the team consists of Mara Lovric, Zenobia Pellissier-Lloyd, Sophia Ware, Elise Young, Jezebel Droga, Valerie Xiong, Lucca Carr-Veramo, Elena Blanco, Adia Lee, Joyce Stern, Caroline Stetson, and Molly McWeeny.
Lastly, do you have a Climate Action Plan in progress or know someone working on one? If you want to be featured, email us at email@example.com, and we’ll see if we can highlight you in our next newsletter!