110 high school students from around the world are taking part in a week-long event in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, that encourages them to develop conservation leadership skills.
The Student Climate Conference, which is called SC3 for short, brings together students representing 30 states and nine countries, including Brazil, France and Somalia, asks the question: How are we as global citizens going to bring back and contribute to our schools and communities?
The event is sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Green Schools Alliance. It takes place at the Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center. The students are tasked with going back to their communities with a plan of action.
“I really will be working with awareness; I’m going to be working on just bringing people together and realizing what we do have and where we can go from that,” Megan Cooper of Metamoros, Pennsylvania, said.
Jaried Buxton from Birmingham, Alabama, plans to start small. “Start by trying to get my school to join the Green Schools Alliance,” he said. “Also going to try to work with this group called the Alabama Environmental Council and just apply what I learned here.”
Zach Shulkin of Memphis, Tennessee, is founder and president of Environmental Conservation Club at his school. He plans to work on making his school greener and, in particular, wants to get the cafeteria to serve food on reusable plates.
Susie Marvin is a public school teacher from Leslie County Kentucky who is a faculty member teaching during the SC3 conference. Like the students, Marvin plans to implement some of what she’s learning here.
“We’ve got this great little greenhouse out back,” she said, “so in talking at the conference I’ve been able to get some ideas on how we could really help that project to take root at our school.”
The first SC3 took place in 2009 and since then 700 students have ‘graduated’ from it.