ISB Grade 9 student, Kate, is on a mission. Appalled to learn that we only have 79 years until all the rainforests are gone, she decided to take action. By harnessing the power of the school community she created Run4Trees. The sponsored run will take place over the course of next week during PHE lessons.
We caught up with her to discuss how she set about executing this initiative, where her passion stems from and what progress has been made by climate change activism.
How did you get involved with Run4Trees - what sparked the initiative?
Well, I believe that deforestation is one of the most serious issues facing our planet’s future. I knew that I wanted to do something to educate our school community and raise money to combat the problem, but I wasn’t sure how. The Terry Fox Run gave me the inspiration to hold a charity run that combined, raising money and awareness, and being active.
Have you always been passionate about climate change and deforestation in particular?
When I was younger, I didn’t know what climate change was or the impacts it has on our future. However, as I got older the information became more accessible and I began to truly realize that if we can not find solutions for the problems we are creating, we will have no future.
Across the world young people are fighting for climate justice, do you think we are making any progress?
Although we are far from done with climate change, people, especially young ones, have already made a huge difference in shaping our world. If it weren’t for us children, these issues wouldn’t be as prominent in the minds of leaders and governments. I believe that if we continue trying to make a difference, in big and small ways, there is hope for our planet.
Is this the first event you've spearheaded? How did you find it?
Run4Trees is the first project that I have led and it has definitely been a learning experience. I never knew just how much time and effort it takes to organize events. Yet, it has also been incredibly rewarding. Knowing that the work I am putting in will lead to trees being planted is amazing, and always keeps me motivated.
What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Like any event, things didn’t always go exactly as planned, but I learnt that it is okay to make adjustments and compromise, and it would still be just as successful, even if it wasn’t exactly as I had pictured. Also, I had to work with various members of staff, which meant adapting to their schedules and needs. However, one of the biggest challenges was presenting, albeit virtually, to the school community. Being on a video for the entire school to see is quite scary, but I just had to remember why I was doing this and that I was proud of the event I had created.
What advice would you give for other students wanting to organise these types of events?
I would definitely advise students to do most of the work a while before it needs to be done. This saves you time when you are doing practical planning and also helps you spread out the workload so you’re not too stressed. Also, remember that you are not alone. There will always be people around that can help and support you. Finally, stay flexible. Things are always changing and you will always have to make adjustments, so don’t worry if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.
Is everything in place for the sponsored runs next week?!
Yes! I have had an amazing support team with various teachers, staff and members form the sustainability team, who have helped me organize this event. I want to say a big thank you to everyone involved and I can’t wait to see how everything goes!
Find out more by watching the video below: