Reflections on the Youth Trailblazer Award

This blog post is written by Aarushi Walia, a Southern California Climate Action Fellow

My journey in the environmental movement began as a curious student in my junior year in high school. My A.P. Environmental science teacher really encouraged and helped me and other activists at my school to start a PowerSave Schools green team on campus. My parents supported my growing interest in the environmental field. They also felt that it was very important to pay attention to our environment and exhausting natural resources. Learning about how we are depleting our earth’s resources and our ecological footprints inspired me to get involved in my community. I began working with the Alliance for Climate Education L.A. leaders.


When I was informed that I was nominated for the Women in Green Youth Trailblazer award, I was overwhelmed! I worked with one of my ACE leaders, Rochelle, to highlight and outline my accomplishments in my school years, researched the Women in Green forum, and learned how amazing of an organization it was. I was ecstatic when I found out I had been actually been chosen to be honored as the Youth trailblazer, and shortly thereafter, I began working on my speech. I had a tremendous amount of help from Rochelle, as she helped me form a solid speech, which encompassed many aspects of my work in the environmental movement and how it changed me as an individual.


I am so glad to be working with such an amazing group of people striving towards a common cause. At the Women in Green event, it was very inspiring to know that my efforts were being recognized, and I could share the stage with such influential people like Dr. Sylvia Earl, who was the first human to ever walk on the ocean floor! It was amazing to see how so many different people were working towards environmental protection in their respective fields. How as students, we work in our communities and others work deep in the ocean.  It gave me an incentive to keep going. It reinstated the fact that with perseverance, tangible solutions are totally possible. This experience was a blessing, and was one of the most amazing things I have been a part of in my life.