This post is part of a 10 part blog series to celebrate ACE's 5th birthday. We'll be asking ACE staff members to answer 5 questions about their time with the organization, including their favorite stories and some surprise facts about themselves. We'll profile a different staff member each day!
ACE Staff Member: Jessie Fischer
Position: Colorado Education and Leadership Program Associate
Q: What was your awakening "aha!" moment that got you involved in the climate movement?
A: As part of my master’s program, I had to take a class about climate change. But I was like a lot of ACE students – even though I understood there was a problem, I didn’t know there were viable solutions or that I could be a part of them.
It wasn’t until my thesis research in southern Mexico that climate change became personally important to me. I was studying a small community that, although contributing only minimally to climate change, was already being hit with the consequences of it. This community had very limited resources, but was doing what they could (with some amazing results!). They weren’t wasting time arguing about the existence of climate change. Rather, they were working together, against the odds, to come up with solutions.
Albert Einstein said, “Those with the privilege to know have a duty to act.” And so I committed to act through spreading my knowledge and inspiring further action. I decided that for the rest of my life my job would be to make the impossible possible.
Q: What's your favorite part about working for ACE?
A: My favorite part about working for ACE is seeing the reaction of students after the ACE Assembly. Having students come up to me and tell me, “I didn’t know that I could make a difference…until now.” Those moments make it all worth it.
Q: What was your proudest moment at ACE?
1. Watching Kansas City student, Clara Ma, ramp up her involvement in the climate movement has been a very proud experience for me. Seeing her go from watching the ACE Assembly to improving the composting program at her school, from coming to Leadership Training to going to DC for the Forward on Climate rally and getting involved in a local energy efficiency campaign – it’s been a trip and I feel proud just to have been able to be a part of that.
2. An email I received from Isaac, a middle school student at Flagstaff Academy in Colorado, who saw the ACE Assembly and took the initiative to start an Action Team at his school. Isaac wrote, “I am so glad that this actually worked, all because of you. Thank you with all of my heart. And by the way if I get famous I will mention you.”
Q: It's no secret that we work hard, and put in some long days. What's your favorite video you like to watch for a mid-day break/pump up session?
A:Whether I’m feeling overwhelmed by climate change or just the day’s workload, I like to watch this speech to remind myself why I do this work and that “it always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island with one other ACE staffer, who would it be (and why!)?
A:This one’s tricky because our whole staff is amazing, but I have to pick Brian [Stillwell]. His optimism is contagious, and I think he would make me feel more like I was on a luxurious vacation than stranded on a desert island. Plus, he’s a vegetarian so if things got desperate I wouldn’t have to worry!
Check out Jessie's pick for an inspirational video break:
Thanks, Jessie! Monday: We introduce Matt Varvir, and hear what he has to say about his time at ACE.