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ACE Youth Reps are the cream of the crop - the most dedicated, passionate youth climate leaders nationwide. They are busy working on world-changing carbon-reducing projects and sharing their stories with peers and adults. Sometimes they put on eco-fashion shows, sometimes they even meet with the White House...
Right now we have 6 Youth Reps who you'll meet below, and more coming next semester...
Chicago: Fiona McRaith
Fiona McRaith is a 15-year-old high school sophomore attending Whitney M. Young Magnet High School. She enjoys soccer and kickboxing, along with the obvious - helping spread the 'conserve word'. She is a member of her school's eco club and also part of a group called Message in a Bottle, which sells stainless steel reusable waterbottles and donates the profit to the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Fiona can't wait to join all those involved in ACE already and help convince more to join the cause!
Chicago: Sara Kuse
Sara Kuse is a seventeen-year-old junior at Northside College Prep who loves beekeeping, gardening, and Japanese tea ceremony. She is the President and Founder of Northside’s Horticulture Club and is currently working on a project with ACE and the North Park Village Nature Center to implement a beekeeping class in her school’s curriculum. She is thrilled to be an ACE Youth Rep with the Chicago team.
Colorado: Ivonne Morales
Ivonne is a senior at Greeley Central High School in Greeley, Colorado. She is the Co-President of her school's Action Team, the Green Cats. After seeing the ACE assembly her freshman year, she was inspired to make a change to tackle global warming. She's helped the Green Cats complete a bunch of projects, including a Power Down Day, Weekly Tips, the Stadium Competition Clean Up, and The Bottle Battle. Most importantly, Ivonne led the Cats to WIN ACE's Fall Biggest Loser Energy competition, enrolling 33 classrooms, shedding 31,502 pounds of CO2, and saving their school $2,333 on their energy bill, all in just 20 days! Ivonne's goal as a Youth Rep is to educate both the young and the old about the dangers that our home will face, and is already facing, because of global warming, and have them realize that Doing One Thing does make a difference.
Los Angeles: Mahuya Barua
Mahuya Barua is a junior at Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles, CA. She’s the president of Bravo’s Campus Beautification Club, and has been involved in a slew of projects: building a DOT tree with over 100 DOTs collected from their school community, building a more efficient school-wide recycling program, and most recently, participating in Biggest Loser with 20 classrooms signed up. Mahuya believes that small steps make a big difference, and is ready to help motivate her Southern California community to take action on climate change.
North Carolina: Natasha Anbalagan
Natasha is a junior at East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has been to three trainings with ACE and took on ACE's Biggest Loser Energy competition with her Action Team last Fall. She belives that climate change is everyone's problem to solve. She wants to change the teenage mentality that climate change is an "adult problem," so she plans to rally her fellow North Carolinians to take action on climate change this year. Beside being a Youth Rep with ACE, Natasha is also a leader with UNC's Climate LEAP Progam.
New England: Srijesa Khasnabish
Srijesa is a senior at Lexington High School in Lexington, MA. Her interest in the environment began freshmen year after watching the ACE presentation, which radically changed her perspective on climate change and her role in the climate movement. Inspired, she joined her school's Action Team, GWAC (Global Warming Action Coalition), became the ACE Ambassador, participated in multiple ACE trainings, and spreaheaded GWAC's "Carbon Cut-Down Day," getting students at Lexington High to pledge to come to school in an environmentally-friendly way.
Now in her second year as an ACE Youth Rep, Srijesa has taken on the reins as GWAC's President and has helped to catalyze a number of projects in her school and community. This pas winter, Srijesa organized a green fundraiser called Band Nightand is currently working on establishing a school-wide composting system. In addition, Srijesa helped start a school vegetable garden last summer and has recently won approval for student grown produce to use in school lunches.
Outside of GWAC, Srijesa has helped grow the youth climate movement by serving as ACE's social media assistant during the Forward On Climate Rally and by speaking at events like Boston Latin School's YouthCAN Climate Summit and 350 Massachusetts' Vigil to End Climate Silence. Most recently, Srijesa served as a youth panelist at the Massachusetts Climate Action Network Conference.
Today, Srijesa feels like a true leader and is motivated to share her passion and spark change throughout the New England region. Her work as a Youth Rep has allowed her to develop strong speaking and leadership skills, which she now incorporates into every facet of her life. As she heads to college in the Fall, Srijesa feels confident that she will continue to make climate advocacy a central part of her life. Currently, she thinking of becoming an environmental lawyer.