On September 20th, CS17 Alum Stella Banowetz was one of the organizers (along with Ella Syverson also of CS17) of one of the flagship marches for Youth Climate Action. An estimated 350 people attended the march and even more for the rally. At that rally, Banowetz took to the podium and made the following remarks:
"Hello everyone, my name is Stella Banowetz. I’m a senior at Lake Superior High School and one of the many organizers of this event. For those of you who don’t know me, I haven't always been the kind of person to stand in front of a bunch of people and speak about my passions. As a matter of fact, before I spent a semester at Conserve School, I probably wouldn't be in the place I am right now. Before, I was angry about the state of the world and felt helpless because while I had a lot to say, I didn't have the confidence or courage to say it. One of the many things that I took away from Conserve is that my voice matters and that while there is power in being angry, there is greater power in having HOPE! This hope and bravery that I found is the essence of what drives my work with climate activism. The bravery part is at the center of what drives social change and something that makes our generation different. It’s the source of our strength! It’s what makes us look at an issue as immense as climate change and decide that we are going to take it on despite all the odds that are against us. We need to be the leaders of this movement, because quite frankly the people in Washington who should be leading us, are not doing their job! It seems easier to deny the existence of the problem and criticize the people that are brave enough to demand action. We are the generation that is taking on this challenge and that is something that our political leaders can never take away from us! We will not hide from this daunting task. All it takes is every one of us believing in our power to spark change. That’s all it takes! I want to leave you with this. If you have something to say, say it! Despite what others may think, even if it's not perfect. Even if you're terrified, speak from your heart. If literally getting up in front of a bunch of people isn't your thing, then find your niche. There are so many different ways to change the world. All it takes is having the courage inside to stand up and fight. This movement is made up of millions of people deciding that today they are going to be brave. It's what gives us the advantage and why we will be the generation that changes the world!! Thank you for being a part of this movement!
Photos contributed by Stella Banowetz