Hear Our Stories

Learn more about why students think climate change education is essential to our schooling!

My dream for a sustainable future

 

In my dream for a sustainable future, the climate crisis is a thing of the past and considered a great battle honoured in history textbooks. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, all materials we depend on—we live life knowing that we are not hurting

our planet. I want to believe that is possible, but it requires us all to make it happen; it needs a generation that understands the complexities and urgency of the crisis. I hope—with my fellow organizers—to prevent that same mistake of ignoring climate change until it is too late.

Sophia Bi

Grade 12

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Moment I realized I wasn't learning enough about climate change

 

I realized that others and I were not learning enough about climate change when one day, a couple of people and I had arrived late to dance class because of a climate change protest. A classmate had asked us why we were late, and to that question, we answered that we had been to a climate change protest. When we explained, she did not appear to understand what the climate crisis is—that it is a concern and action needs to be taken against the issue. We tried to explain to the best of our ability the dire situation. However, it was difficult because we only have a basic knowledge of what climate change is ourselves. Therefore, I believe that everyone should at least have some knowledge about climate change. But more in-depth knowledge about the climate crisis should also be accessible to everyone, especially in this time of age. After all, everyone should have the right to learn about what is happening on our home.

Penelope Holden-Goldsmith

Grade 9

I am an R2T Organizer because...

Spreading awareness about the climate emergency is vital for a prosperous future. Climate change is known as the greatest threat to human health—it jeopardizes our food security, water availability and biodiversity worldwide, yet, there is a surprisingly large portion of the population that knows little to nothing about this crisis. To achieve the objective of the Paris Agreement—maintain the increase in global temperature by no greater than 1.5 degrees celsius—human civilization must enact change now to give us the best chance of survival. Our planet is currently on track for a projected 3-5 degrees Celsius increase; this would leave countless ecosystems and municipalities uninhabitable due to extreme temperature changes and irreversible geographic deterioration. Climate education must be enforced as a fundamental subject throughout elementary and secondary school. The more informed people become, the more likely they are to take action!

Maiya Gurbin

Grade 12

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School is failing me because...

 

We all live off of this beautiful planet and call it ours. However, when presented with the opportunity to give back to our earth, we as a species rarely take it. The school system is one of these opportunities. Our schools can make a real change by teaching youths about problems that will affect them, yet this is rarely the case. It is our school's responsibility to educate us about important matters. And climate change is one of the most significant matters in the world! Nevertheless, lessons on climate change and the environment are either absent or lacking to a great extent. I believe in us, and I trust in the education system listening to our voices.

Adeline Parker   Grade 11

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My dream for a sustainable future

 

My vision for a sustainable future is one where sustainability is ingrained into society and our lives; that we no longer have to think twice when making a decision or research hours on end for a sustainable alternative. A future where we come together as a collective—to innovate and solve the issue of climate change—and no longer debate whether if it is a worthy concern or not.

Chloe Nguyen

Grade 10

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My dream for a sustainable future

My dream for a sustainable future is one where the oceans stop warming, animals stop going extinct, and humans can live without the fear of catastrophic weather and pollution plaguing our planet. To be sustainable, we have to rethink our behaviour and make simple changes, adopt a new mindset of how we interact with things in our lives. I hope that everyone can get on board with change, from the youngest child to the most decorated politician and make solid, defensible plans to reverse climate change through laws, consumerism and most importantly, education.

Brianna Schiavone

Class of 2021

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Moment I realized I wasn't learning enough about climate change

The moment I realized I wasn't learning enough about climate change was not a specific moment but rather through time. Whenever I encounter news stories of climate change or hear general facts of "the ice melting" and "the amazon being clear cut," I never considered the complete picture of the systemic and deep-rooted issues that were—and are still—taking place. But as I became interested and sought out information and resources on my own time, I noticed how little our schools had been instructing about the climate crisis. Beyond the specialized environmental program I took part in, I anticipated that climate change and climate justice, such pressing issues, would have been integrated into all of my classes and preparing me for the future. That was not the case. So CERBC became a way for me to advocate and call for this change!

Hannah Wicki

Class of 2021

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I am a Reform to Transform Organizer because…

I want to help spark a much-needed change in British Columbia’s K-12 school curriculum. As a student in the Windermere Leadership Program for the past five years, I have been fortunate enough to learn about climate change and other environmental issues. As well as help take action towards this global issue. However, I have also noticed how climate change is never taught or mentioned in mainstream school; this needs to change. Many students are not fully aware of the full effects this crisis could have on our planet. The lack of climate change knowledge and proper education around this topic can have detrimental effects in the future. I joined this initiative to help advocate for much-needed change in the curriculum and how schools address the climate emergency. Climate change is a real and frightening global issue. It needs to be addressed and taught to younger generations so that necessary action can be taken. We need people who are well equipped to tackle the climate crisis. I am proud to be a part of an organization and campaign that is working to integrate an intersectional climate change education system in preparation for the oncoming climate crisis.

Allison Wong

Class of 2021

My dream for a sustainable future

I used to hear the phrase: “our children are the future.” While the complete meaning might have gone over my head, I felt fatigued by it. I had the impression that I would have a great life after graduating from school until learning that the future I envisioned might not appear as I had imagined; we could be living a life flooded by natural disasters and pollution. There is a feeling of helplessness that befalls us, as young people, when we feel the need to take on this entire issue. But there is also frustration for being left without the knowledge and tools necessary to combat the climate crisis. One day, I hope to live in a place where my children can grow old—with policies that take my future and theirs into account. The climate crisis is a health and safety issue, so I want plans that treat it as such. I hope that air is breathable and that our actions don’t cause the suffering of wildlife. I hope to see more EV’s on the road and fewer ashen trees in summer.

Jaime (Jay) Nelson

Grade 11

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I am a Reform to Transform organizer because...

I am a Reform to Transform organizer because I genuinely feel that climate change—a critical issue—is not discussed enough! I believe that our education system needs to adapt to present situations to support us in better defending our planet! Since I was young, I have always been passionate about taking care of the environment! I have participated in many environmental-related competitions—allowing me to learn about the problems facing our world. However, by participating in these competitions, I now wish that our schools would instruct us more about these issues! Subsequently, the primary reason I decided to be an R2T organizer is in hopes that youths can receive accurate information about the climate crisis to defend it! Furthermore, if we do not take care of the planet now, there will be no planet to protect in the future!

Gurleen Bhandal 

Grade 12

My dream for a sustainable future

My dream for a sustainable future is one where we have successfully prevented the climate crisis, halted the loss of biodiversity, and created an equal and just society. In this future, we have reduced our overall levels of consumption and create sustainable alternatives. For instance, our energy sources are no longer polluting and damaging to the ecosystem. Instead of disposing of items, we have learned how to reuse and repair them. We have cleaned the plastic out of our oceans and recognized the value of biodiversity. Our forests, freshwater, and the natural environment are protected, and we plant more trees and create additional green space in our cities. We have achieved environmental justice—where everyone has equal access to nature, clean air and water, a safe food supply and security from environmental threats. However, we need to mobilize more people to accomplish all of these goals. We all need to be working together with the same target in mind; to do this, we must have comprehensive climate change education. The curriculum must include the effects and risks of climate change, how deeply interconnected it is with social justice, and the urgency to act immediately. Climate change education must empower students to take action; therefore, another vital component is how individuals can make a difference. I believe that this is definitively the only way that we will achieve a sustainable future.

Charlotte Jacques

Grade 11

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All Photos Credited to Hannah Wicki