What are YOU doing this summer?

Posted on behalf of Margaret Fetzer-Rogers, New England Climate Summer 2010 participant and Massachusetts student leader.

I’m constantly striving to find an outlet to exercise my passion to learn things that really matter and to make a difference in the world. So, every year around this time I ask myself, what are you doing this summer? Forgetting this I’ve found can lead to a summer of minimum wage doldrums.  Luckily, last year I didn’t have to look too far. My friend Jeff recommended that I check out New England Climate Summer, the program he had participated in 2009. This became a solution to the long search I had imagined I had before me.

Climate Summer is an internship in which college students bike across New England growing the climate justice movement and bringing communities together to make local change. Biking everywhere we went, my team and I lived the values that we proclaim and invited others to join us. From elementary school children to grandparents, pastors and business people, the people we met were excited to share their activism and learn more about ours. When I think back about this past summer, of course I remember the towns we visited and the organizations that we worked, but what strikes me the most are the people that I got to know. My teammates with whom I grew so much. Pastors who provided a place to sleep. Mothers who gave us showers and a warm meal. Climate activists who offered counsel. Farmers who donated food. Everyone we met that took a minute or two to talk and listen and share. We often talk about the climate crisis in terms of parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere, but what this summer did was connect me to the people and the communities that suffer from the realities of climate change.

If Climate Summer sounds like the type of change that you would like to be a part of, check out our website <www.newenglandclimatesummer.org> . The priority deadline for applications is January 15th!

Apply Today!

5 Responses to “What are YOU doing this summer?”

  1. 1 Caroline Jan 11th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Climate Summer was hands-down the most empowering experience of my life. You should apply.

    Great post Margaret!

  2. 2 Marla Jan 11th, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I can’t wait to meet the next group of Climate Summer riders! I’m working this minute on reaching out to communities in New Hampshire where one of the 2011 teams will be working, riding, learning, and growing the movement. (Teams will ride in Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut, too… and one week in Rhode Island!) If you want to know more about a day in the life of a climate summer team, check out our 2010 blog: http://climatesummer.wordpress.com/

    Then get on your bikes and ride (after sending in your application)!

  3. 3 Leila Jan 13th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Well said! It really took me back to that great first summer almost 2 years ago.

  4. 4 Bliss Jan 18th, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    This was an extraordinary opportunity to dive right into the climate change and environmental grassroots movement, even if you’ve had no previous activism (or long distance biking!) experience before, like I had not had. I learned so much over the nine week program regarding everything from community organizing to team building and leadership development to living a sustainable lifestyle. Best of luck to this year’s Climate Summer teams and for a successful year of climate activism!

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About Craig

Craig Altemose is the founder and Executive Director of Better Future Project, which engages in movement-building to make communities more resilient and to accelerate a rapid and responsible transition away from fossil fuels. Currently, he serves on the Massachusetts Green Economy and Climate Protection Advisory Committee and on the board of the Mass Climate Action Network. Craig founded and led Students for a Just and Stable Future (MA's state network). He has previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Co-Chair of the National Association of Environmental Law Societies, worked with Energy Action as an intern and a fellow, and served on the Executive Committee of the Sierra Student Coalition, a group he remains active with. Craig helped plan Power Shift 2007, and was the Lead Organizer of the Massachusetts Power Shift conference in April, 2008. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, a Master in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in International Relations and Global Affairs from Eckerd College.

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