Marin Teens Making a Difference: Sarah Goody & Climate NOW
For this first in a series of articles that highlights the great work local teens are doing in our community, we interviewed Sarah Goody, a 14-year-old from Corte Madera who's already embarking on a career as an environmental activist. This dedicated Marin teen is the creator of Climate NOW, a monthly meeting for students in the San Francisco Bay Area to discuss our global climate crisis and ways to combat carbon dioxide emissions. Sarah's goal is to inspire youth to take action NOW and step up as future leaders in the fight against climate change.
Want to get involved? The next Climate NOW meeting is Saturday, August 31 from 1 to 2 pm at Larkspur Recreation; meetings take place on the last Saturday of each month at the same time and location. You can learn more about Climate NOW at www.climatenow.solutions.
Are you a teen doing something amazing to help our community? Contact us to find out how to have your story featured on Marin Mommies!
What inspired you to become an environmental activist?
I was first introduced to the climate crisis in 6th grade. We spent a month dedicated to exploring the causes and effects of climate change. This was an eye-opening experience for me. I had never felt so personally connected to a social justice issue. Most problems I had witnessed before such as gun violence, immigration rights, racism, etc. did not seem to apply to me on a personal level. The climate crisis was very different. I discovered that I played a key role in the increase of CO2 in our atmosphere. What inspired me to start taking action was the fact that global warming will ultimately result in the extinction of the human species if not acted upon immediately.
What is your proudest moment so far?
The proudest moment I have witnessed so far in my journey as an activist has been speaking at a ClimateOne-PBS event in San Francisco. It was unreal to be on the same stage as the people who I view as role models like Julia Olsen, the Lawyer behind “Youth vs. Gov”.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
Through my climate work I hope to inspire personal, political, and systemic change. By personal I mean inspiring individuals to make changes in their lives to reduce their carbon footprint. By political I mean urging politicians to make and abide by regulations that will stop rising climate emissions. Through personal and political transformations I hope the outcome will be systemic changes. Changes that change the very structure of how our country runs.
I also hope to inspire youth to speak up for their future. Youth are the most powerful tool in the climate movement as they have a pure passion that cannot be swayed by money, power, or fame. This is why we can see youth stepping up as the leaders of this movement. Teens like Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villasenor and Jamie Margolin have played an important role in bringing attention to this crisis and showing other youth that we must push for the change we want to see. Therefore, it is important for youth to find their voice and collaborate to show adults in power why we need change.
What are your plans for the future (e.g. beyond high school)?
Activism has taught me that I can not live a future without dedicating my life to a cause greater than myself. I might pursue a career focused on social change in entrepreneurship or politics. But, who knows where the future will take me? All I know is I won’t rest until I see a safe and happy planet for future generations to strive in.
What advice would you give to other teens looking to make a difference?
First and foremost, educate yourself! Education is the most powerful tool and will help you make the best decisions about how to make a difference. Next, I would recommend connecting with organizations who share your priorities. Whether this means signing petitions or working on a youth council, partnering with an organization will help you meet like-minded people and start making a difference. I started my journey as an activist by working on the youth council of a non-profit called Greening Forward. This experience taught me the fundamentals of activism, like how to organize, outreach, and connect with others which were necessary for me to plan strikes and start an organization. Lastly, never doubt yourself, everyone has the potential to change the world. Imagine how much better our society would be if we all dedicated the time we spend watching Netflix to working together to make the world a better place.
What is it like to be an activist?
Being an activist is a full time job. After school, in addition to homework and extracurricular activities I spend anywhere from 1 to 6 hours on calls, emailing, outreaching, and organizing. The climate crisis is scary and can seem daunting. The best way to deal with these feelings is by taking action. The greatest feeling in the world is seeing the work I do pay off through a successful meeting or event that results in other youth becoming involved in the climate movement. Even though being an activist has been challenging, it has also been rewarding in ways I could never imagine.
Photos courtesy Sarah Goody
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