ACE will be introducing the 2014-2015 Action Fellows from our regions across the country. Check out some our brief interviews with Chicago’s new Action Fellows below. Make sure to check back later to follow their great work this year.
Hello (: My name is Delilah Rodriguez and I am currently a Junior at Lake View High School in Chicago. I like to play the piano and read books. I was also on my schools swim team, and a soon to be lifeguard during the summer. I've always enjoyed learning about ways to better our environment, and when Page came to our school discussing climate change and ACE, I instantly knew I wanted to be apart of this. I sometimes wonder what I can do to make a difference in my community, because there is so much more that can be done. With the right tools and resources, our Ecosystem will be a much safer and better place to live in. Currently, there are no clubs at our school on climate change or the environment so I would love to start one. Working with ACE would give me more knowledge on what actions I can take to make this possible.
Hi! My name is Paty Calderon and I am currently a sophomore at Whitney M Young High School. I am passionate about climate change and I am a member of the ecology club at my school. With a few friends and Shania, who is also in the ACE Fellowship, I participated in a 15-week long project to make a difference in terms of our environment, climate change, and our communities. I have taught about climate change and the ways students can make a difference to more than 80 grammar school students. Through the project, I also informed high school students about eye-opening climate change facts in a flyer form to motivate them to join the climate change movement. These are a few examples of what I believe is essential to fighting climate change: informing others on the severity of climate change in order to inspire change. Through the ACE Fellowship, I hope to learn, educate, and make a greater difference in fighting climate change. I also love running and playing the flute, and just having a good laugh!
Eve Robinson is a 2nd year fellow who loves talking about climate change. She first got interested in climate education when she saw the ACE presentation at her high school. She'd previously been interested in things that we can do to help the environment on the micro level (ie recycling, biking to work), but ACE gave her the ability to spread her knowledge and to also gain more of it. Eve is a debater for Whitney Young High School so that occupies a vast majority of her time. She also enjoys poetry, singing, and saving the environment!
Hi! My name is Suzy Guttman. Currently, I am a junior at Lake View high school in Chicago. I was excited to get involved with Ace after an intriguing presentation at my school. For a while I've been passionate about how to maintain healthy surroundings. I'm looking forward to further expanding my knowledge of climate change and how exactly to fight it. During my free time, I very much enjoy ceramics, swimming, and playing board games.
My name is Maria Sanchez, and I'm a proud junior at Northside College Prep in Chicago! I've always had a passion for nature, so when I became aware of the impact that even someone as small as I could have on the environment, I decided I needed to take action.
While this is the first time I'm participating in the ACE Action Fellowship, for me, the fight against climate change began at home.
Over the summer, my family and I created a small container garden in our apartment's balcony to grow fresh veggies and herbs, and created compost from food that might've gone to waste to promote soil microbes that helped the plants grow.
We've also switched to energy-efficient appliances, which has saved us both energy and money. Additionally, we recycle and donate old books, magazines and clothes to charities or clothes-drives whenever we get the chance!
At school, I'm the vice president of the Recycling club, where we collect all recyclable material from classrooms and deposit it in the recycling dumpsters at school. With the help of ACE, I'd like to start an Environment Club at school to bring consciousness to the issues of climate change and get more and more people from my community involved in creating a greener future for all of us.
Asides from being a climate change superhero, I am also part of the varsity debate team at school, where I get to compete at both the national and local circuit. Debate is what incentivized me to become active on the issues I care about, and has increased my awareness about the science and politics of climate change. When I'm not at tournaments, I enjoy drinking tea, reading news blogs and being a foodie.
Hey! My name is Gloria and I am currently a sophomore who attends Whitney Young Magnet High School in the South Loop. For most of my life, climate change has been something that I've wanted to fix, but never knew how. With more education on climate change from my freshman biology class, I learned more about how global warming effects me and how my peers and I can make a change. One of the things I've done to fight climate change is join the ACE fellowship. I strongly believe that in order to fight an issue as severe as global warming, a community effort is needed! I joined the fellowship in order to connect with my generation and help fight the good fight. Besides trying to save the environment, I enjoy traveling to various places around the world, participating in Model UN and debate, and playing goalie for my lacrosse team.
Hi! My name is Jason Lau. I'm currently a Senior at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago. I first became interested in taking action against climate change after taking an Environmental Science course and actually being part of an audience to one of ACE's presentations. Turns out, I didn't have to go further than my own backyard to fight climate change. My family and I were already growing many of our own vegetables and fruit in our garden to reduce our carbon footprint. When I'm not taking action, I enjoy playing table tennis and dancing.
My name is Abby Gundrum, and I am a sophomore at York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois. I lead the Ecology Club there, in which I coordinate various recycling programs and help to educate the student body on threats towards the environment. I am also involved in Garden Club, where we are currently removing invasive plant species and replacing them with their native counterparts. Another interest of mine is Spanish, and I will be studying in Seville, Spain this summer.
My name is Shania Santana and I am currently a sophomore at Whitney M. Young High School. As a freshman I took small steps to help fight climate change when a group of friends (including Paty, also in the ACE Fellowship) and I participated in the Mycelia Project for biology and took action in our communities in an attempt to make them better through a variety of different mini-projects. I love food and bands and sometimes I think I'm a cat whisperer.
Fighting climate change is something that isn’t big at my school, but that is something that I want to change before I graduate. There is so much a school could do that can make a huge difference. I currently little things such as picking up garbage on streets and parks in my neighborhood, recycling, using less water, and buying thrifted clothing (thrifting is literally my life). The little things to me is what makes a big difference and I hope to continue to keep making that change on a greater scale. Besides fighting climate change, I am also really active in school. I hold various leadership positions and take part in giving back to my community in anyway that I can. I also really enjoy writing, listening to music and exploring all that nature loves to offer. If I absolutely had to have a superpower, I would shape shift because let’s face it, how cool would that be!
My name is Kayla McWard. I'm currently a sophomore at Whitney Young Magnet Highschool. I'm excited to be participating in the ACE Action Fellowship for the first time, though I've been involved with ACE since 7th grade when I joined the media team. My interests, other than fighting climate change, include writing, music, ceramics, and political science.
My name is Quincy Hirt and I am currently a sophomore at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School on the southwest side of Chicago. At Whitney Young, I am a member of the boys volleyball team, the Jewish Student Connection, the student council, and the freshman mentors. Outside of school, I play for the Chicago Elite Volleyball Club. I am part of the Voices Teen Alumni Foundation, and I always enjoy a warm cup of hot chocolate on a warm day.
After seeing the ACE presentation in school, I was immediately drawn to the program. I joined AE’s fellowship program in order to help better my understanding of climate education, as well as to educate the people around me. As a student in Mr. Katz’s freshman biology class, I completed a semester project focused entirely on bettering my community’s participation in climate action. Through his class I have received a fantastic intro to climate education and I am looking forward to furthering this knowledge with ACE.