- Alumni Stories
In many Conserve School classes, students learn to use their voices and stand up for the environmental causes that are near and dear to them. CS17 Alum Ella Syverson has taken that learning to heart.
Growing up in Ashland, Wisconsin, on the shores of Lake Superior, Ella says she “has been an activist and passionate about issues of social justice” her whole life. “I always thought the global climate change was an issue just too big to handle,” she says. Seeing for herself the impact of climate change on her hometown, however, spurred her to take things a step further. Today, as the Youth Climate Activists Team (YCAT) City Lead for the Chequamegon Bay area, Ella not only stands up for what she believes in, she organizes and encourages others to do the same. “I organize both the Fridays for the Future Strikes and organize activities for the Global Climate Strike as well as a lot of outreach to try to get people from many of the small towns in our area involved,” she says.
The Youth Climate Action Team is an entirely youth-run non-profit organization that is “dedicated to localizing the fight against the climate crisis in the state of Wisconsin and uplifting young people.” Ella joined YCAT in 2019, and with her characteristic enthusiasm and passion, it quickly became part of her life. It can be, she says, “exhausting.” Being an organizer is “a lot of work and learning how to balance all of that with my school work and my personal life has been challenging but in a really positive way.” Despite that, working with a team of dedicated and passionate young people and seeing new young people step into leadership and activist roles has “been a joy” to her. “Being a part of YCAT has been incredible for me,” she says.
For more information on Ella’s role in this youth-led organization, click on the link below for a short YouTube video featuring a Q & A session with this Conserve School alum, who is having her voice heard and helping others to do the same.
Photos submitted by Ella Syverson