YYGS Alumni at IARU Global College Climate Forum

January 21, 2016

“During YYGS, I met Melissa Goodall, whose passion about her career in sustainability and personal experience in green careers inspired me to establish Young Global Sustainambassadors, an international community aiming to spread positivity, encourage sustainable living, and witness the power of the youth. It was also in her presentation where I learned about the IARU Global College Climate Forum and decided to form a team with my fellow YYGS friends and participate in the Forum. Fortunately, nine people responded to my initiative right away and viola, we have a team.” – Jenny Zhang, YYGS SPI 2015 alum, Young Global Sustainambassadors Founder

The first task for the team was to completely the online application which required a project proposal. Working with people in different timezones via the internet was not the easiest thing. Everybody cooperated and responded promptly in our online conversations, and with the help from our two excellent mentors, Mrs. Melissa Goodall and Mr. Paul Chapman, we were able to agree on the project idea of producing a series of video that present a global perspective of young people’s attitudes to environmental issues, conduct some preliminary research, and produce an application proposal within three month. We were very proud to be the only high school team selected to attend the Forum in Paris, and we were eager to begin our project.

In the project, we focused on how high school students from around the world answered our questions regarding climate change and recorded each response on video. We then analyzed the disparities in students’ views. This was no easy feat and took months to accomplish. Luckily, we had a group thirteen amazing YYGS alumnus to get the job done!

 “It was great to continue relationships post-YYGS and bond over a topic we are all passionate about, climate change. There were difficult aspects of the project, such as coordinating work through google docs and taking into account different time zones. However, it was well worth it.” – Maria Neely, YYGS SPI 2015 alum, Young Global Sustainambassador

After choosing the questions we would focus on, we split into subgroups to tackle different aspects of the project: researchers, interviewers, and video editor. The research group conducted background research of climate change issues would support our findings. Then, the interview group found students in their community to interview. It was amazing to see the variety of responses to our questions! Finally, we sent the clips to Antoine Salaun, a very kind volunteer who agreed to help after learning about the project from Linda Zuckerman, a fellow YYGS alum. He created a fantastic video of interviews from three different countries. We plan on continuing producing these videos. The videos and more information about our project can be found on our own website, youngglobalsa.org.

Chloe Rosenberg represented our team at the Paris Forum.

“I had a really amazing time in Paris at the conference. Initially, I was quite intimidated, as I was the only person who was there by myself, and the only high school student at the conference. However, everyone else there really worked to make me feel comfortable, and by the end of the day, I was having the time of my life. The other students were from a really diverse mix of countries and universities, and I had a great time getting to know everyone. The guest speakers we had were a very interesting mix. Some of them were pure scientists, while others were more concerned with policy outreach and working with governments and universities to institute sustainable reforms.

It was also very neat to see the wide range of different projects represented at the forum. Some people had very focused projects centered around their specific university, such as several teams that had projects related to reducing food waste on their campus. Other teams had much more broad aspirations, including one of the teams from the Sorbonne that was trying to increase the amount of green roofs in Paris. I was initially nervous about my presentation session, and stumbled through the first presentations. As it went on, however, I got more confident, partially due to how nice and genuinely interested everyone was with our project. A lot of people asked for the web address of our site, which really made me feel like we were doing something valuable. Overall, I had a great time and was thankful that I had the opportunity to go. This project was an amazing experience, and I am really glad that I was able to be a part of it.” – Chloe Rosenberg, YYGS SPI 15 Alumni, Young Global Sustainambassador

We are planning on making more videos and keep making the world a greener and better place. We can’t wait for you to join us! Visit our website http://www.youngglobalsa.org/ and find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/youngglobalsa/). Together, let’s save the world:)