Kat and Sarah are part of our 2016 Youth Ambassador crew. In December they made a pledge, along with the rest of the ambassadors, to take action on a local environmental issue. In the process of making the pledge, they were encouraged to identify skills and talents that could help them with a project and to pick one particular issue to focus on.
Kat and Sarah chose to focus on education and developed an idea for an environmental programme in their school. We would like to share with you the fantastic letter that Sarah wrote to her Head Teacher making the case for the programme. We think it shows maturity, determination and articulates universal concerns in an incredibly persuasive way:
Dear Mrs Kerry,
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read our letter. We know as students in year 11 how stressful the end of the year can be. We only wish to alert you to a potential opportunity for our school to do good for a spectacular cause, as we do so well here.
We were lucky enough to win an opportunity of a lifetime in July to go on a camp for 5 days with the charity Action for Conservation. We were both chosen out of a potential 200 entries to join 9 other eager secondary school students from all over the country to stay in the National Trust house in Pembroke in Wales. It truly was a life changing experience. We have both learned so much about our planet and more importantly how we can save it. We left this camp with some amazing friends and some amazing memories and as ambassadors for this fantastic charity. After spending summer apart, but after a meet up early in December we have made pledges on things we can really do, all from our separate towns, united on the front of saving the planet. Our pledge involved education – grassroots so to speak. This is where (hopefully) you come in.
We aren’t asking for much, only for some time. The environment is in great peril and it’s not going to get better by itself. People have ignored the issue for too long, this is more than a matter of turning to energy saving bulbs and using electric cars. What we ask from you is, could we allow for one PHSCE lesson in the next term to be dedicated to raising awareness for this cause. We are fully prepared to do all the work entailed, from making power points for each year to doing assemblies or presentations. Kate and Hendrikus who run the charity also do talks in schools and upon seeing our pledges were more than happy to come to Loreto if requested. The only way we can change the world is to encourage the younger generations to think more and more about the cause. Education is the key to success.
This is a cause that is close to our hearts and can very easily become close to anyone’s. It would have been impossible for us to come back the same after the incredible time we had with this charity. Any number of statistics and facts would tell you just how much we can do, and how much of it starts with the younger generations. Imagine for a moment your grandchildren or great grandchildren growing up on a planet where glaciers are things of the past. Where hundreds of species of animal and plant that now are commonplace around the world are gone. The impact is happening now, and educating people is the most effective way of combating the problem. Whilst we have to wait a certain number of years to train and grow old enough for our voices to be heard on a larger scale, we have the chance right now in this very school to start saving the planet.
As a catholic school, we believe that God made us stewards of the Earth. If God was to look down on this planet he made for us, and see the polluted and deforested world we live in now he would want us to do something about it. Pope Francis wrote an encyclical (Laudato Si) demonstrating the responsibility we have as Catholics to look after this world. This is what we are trying to do, both on behalf of Action For Conservation and for us as people. We hope you consider this plan and please contact us when we return from Christmas Holiday, even if it’s to tell us we can’t do it. We are happy to take the bulk of the workload should you say yes and are open to any suggestions you or any other member of senior management may have.
Have a good Christmas, yours sincerely;
Sarah and Katarina
Kat and Sarah were successful in pitching their idea and just two weeks ago they ran a workshop with the Year 8 students at their school. They were both incredibly articulate and poised throughout the session and it was lovely to be able to sit back and let them get on with it! Sarah has since reflected on the experience for this blog:
I had a great time co-leading this workshop at school. I thought it was fantastic and the year 8 girls had some really encouraging feedback for us. I had been excited to do this talk ever since making my pledge in December and both me and Kat are hoping to take this further. A lot of the feedback we got was saying that the girls wanted more than we can fit in an hour which gives us a great building block for the next year. One girl said that she liked the fact that ‘it was about the problems on both a global and local scale’, while another said ‘it made me more aware of what’s happening in the world today’. I hope that we managed to bring insight into both the students who were watching and the staff who heard the talk or read the letter we wrote. Hopefully our school will continue to be aware of the conservational needs of our planet and the students can help on a more local scale.
Stay tuned for more from our Youth Ambassadors.