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.