Eleven Upper School students attended the first YES! Youth Environmental Summit at DelTech in Dover, Delaware, on Feb. 28. More than 250 students from 23 Delaware high schools attended the event intended to give students a voice on environmental issues such as climate change.
The summit was designed and run by students for students. In the fall, Archit Kambhamettu ’21 was selected from a large pool of applicants to be part of the committee that would plan and organize the entire event.
The day began with keynote addresses by Collin O'Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, and Delaware Senator Tom Carper along with lightning talks from Delaware students striving to make changes in their communities. Students also attended workshops with topics such as climate change, plastics and the ocean, impacts of food choices and fashion and the environment. Many of the workshops were student-run and engaged the attendees in conversations about what they could do at their own schools. The day concluded with Tower Hill students brainstorming on actions they can take in our community.
Gov. John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin stopped by the summit and joined in the conversations with students, including Selina Chen and Meredith Beyer, while attending a workshop on climate change.
Archit Kambhamettu ’21, Leyna Bidic ’23, Austin Zhou ’20, Alexandra Kimbiris ’20, Cassidy Malik ’20, Jake Frietze ’22, Meredith Beyer ’22, Ryan Tatasciore ’21, Selina Chen ’21, Harry Saidakis ’20 and Alex Williams ’22 attended the summit.
Below are some reflections from the students.
“The YES summit was a great experience for me and the environmental board as it gave us new insights as to how we can further improve our schools carbon footprint. One interesting thing I learned while at the summit was about the fashion industry and its detrimental effects on the environment.” —Harry Saridakis ’20
“I discovered how the smallest of sacrifices, such as eating less meat and taking shorter showers, can benefit the environment so much.” —Selina Chen ’21
“My experience with the summit was wonderful! The lunch was great and I loved that numerous schools were introduced to so many significant people regarding environmental crisis. I learned about the importance of eating less meat and how it affects an individual's carbon footprint. Overall, I am so glad I attended!” —Leyna Bidic ’23