Climate Ambassadors Wanted! 

Ever wondered what a high school student could do in our community to address the issue of climate change?

If you’ve been reading the blog on this site, you know that Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action (MOVCA) is a local non-profit organization whose focus is addressing the danger and urgency of climate change, especially in the Mid-Ohio Valley. My name is Michaela Hess and I am a senior Political Science major and Environmental Science minor at Marietta College. I have the pleasure of interning with MOVCA this semester. I have been passionate about the environment my entire life. I remember when I was in elementary school I was so excited to receive a sapling each Spring and go home and plant it in my yard. A meaningful experience in high school was when as part of the National Honor Society, we went to our district’s elementary school and got to read to the students for Arbor Day. My passion continued to grow when I took a class called Aquatic Ecology one summer of high school and experienced what working in the field was like for the first time. Since becoming a student at Marietta College, I have developed a specific interest in environmental policy and law. I believe that it is vital for my generation’s future and the future of the generations to come that our politicians take action to address the health of our planet. It is their and our responsibility alike, to ensure this planet is safe, healthy, and beautiful. The decisions they make impact us all and it is up to us to ensure they are representing our best interests.

The goal of my internship with MOVCA is to start up a Climate Ambassador program for high school-age young people. We hope this program will allow high school students the opportunity to develop leadership skills and inspire others to take action regarding climate change. It is a great opportunity for community service and to build relationships with people who share similar passions. Becoming a Climate Ambassador will provide students with the support and skills necessary to develop and implement a project in their community that addresses some sort of climate-related problem. For example, they could organize a campaign to reduce single-use plastics, create a plan to encourage walking or biking to school rather than driving, or have a no-waste lunch program one day a month. They could add more recycling bins to their school/community or replace old light bulbs with more efficient ones. They could also plant pollination gardens around town or set up native bird feeders to help our native species suffering from climate changes here in the MOV.

 The opportunities are endless!

For interested individuals, there is a google forms application to become a Climate Ambassador that can be accessed at: https://forms.gle/ziSx5KiwMFderXYx8. The application deadline is March 25th, 2022. There will also be an interview component in the process of selecting the  Climate Ambassador(s). Upon selection, Climate Ambassadors will attend an orientation this Spring, where they will get to interact with other Climate Ambassadors and learn skills that will aid them in developing and implementing their project proposal. The goal is to have these students begin the implementation of their project no later than the Fall 2022 term. They will have all summer to prepare and plan for the success of their program. Upon completion of projects, students will be eligible to receive a stipend for their hard work. Funding to implement student-generated projects is also available if required. A Climate Ambassador position is a great fit for students who have a strong interest in climate change, who are self-motivated and driven, and have a willingness to learn and have fun! MOVCA hopes to continue this Climate Ambassador program in the future and to take on new Climate Ambassadors every year. If you have any questions or want more information, please contact me at mrh007@marietta.edu. I am super excited to see the impact of this program!