St. Thomas School Walkathon 2016
Kids are key to our climate future
June 30, 2016

For many of us at Climate Solutions, we do this work for the next generation. Whether our own children, our (future) nieces and nephews, for the legacy we want to leave for a sustainable planet and its people in addition to our own families. It's hard work and sometimes it feels like two steps forward and one step back, especially because of lack of leadership and action from adults. Sometimes, what we need to get to the next thing on the to-do list is some inspiration. 

A few weeks ago, Executive Director Gregg Small and I had the opportunity to attend a school-wide assembly at the St. Thomas School in Medina, Washington. The St. Thomas School was the first in the state (and second in the nation) to receive Gold certification under the LEED for Schools program, and as Gregg and I walked through the building we were awed by the skylights and other open spaces that showcased the natural world in a learning environment. We entered the gymnasium and there were 200 students surrounding us, eager to learn about the work of Climate Solutions and to talk about climate change—even if for some of the students it meant the very sad thought that sea level rise could affect Disney World. 

Kids are the key to the future and speak the truth. And kids care about the environment and climate change. It's the reality in which they live as it is this generation that is the last that can make meaningful change on the issue. Like many of the students we spoke to, for example, we are following with interest the court case of the young people who sued the state of Washington for their right to clean air. 

We wanted to thank the students and teachers and parents of the St. Thomas School for the inspiration that helped us get through some long days the past few weeks, and for all their hard work to save the planet. Climate Solutions is honored to be one of the beneficiaries of your 2016 Walkathon. Thank you so much for your support! Here are some thoughts from one of the students who helped organize the Walkathon and some pictures from the day that helped raise $5000 for a bright future! 

Comments from Mae:

I care about the future of the planet we live on. I don't want to live with the outcomes if we fail to focus on climate change now before it is too late.  Even as a 14 year old I worry about my future family! I would like to leave them a world filled with just as much (or more) natural beauty and unspoiled resources as I experience now. Though the problem has been centuries in the making, solutions to global warming must be addressed now, by and for everyone on this world before we have reached a point of no return.

What can younger people and kids do about climate change, such as Walkathon?

I believe that the biggest impact that young people can have is to raise awareness of this issue to their peers, the adults around them, and the community at large.  Our advocacy is powerful because we, as representatives of future generations, are those who will be directly impacted by inaction today. The St. Thomas School Walkathon was a simple yet effective way to involve ourselves and our community in raising both awareness about the issue and funds to support Climate Solutions. We were able to start small and grow our advocacy and fundraising from there. I encourage others to do the same. Young people must be involved in addressing climate change, it is our future!



Sign up for Climate Solutions updates!

Author Bio

Savitha has been Deputy Director of Climate Solutions since June 2019, previously serving as Development Director since January 2010. To her, climate change is the biggest social justice issue of our lifetime and she has been working on the issue since 1997, when she interned at the US EPA's Policy office during the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. 

Savitha is responsible for organizational effectiveness and also oversees the organization's development, cultivation and fundraising efforts, managing the team that raises funds from individuals, foundations and corporate supporters. Savitha helped form Climate Solutions Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Group and is a graduate of the Center for Diversity & the Environment’s Environment 2042 Leadership Program. She continues her activism through her volunteer service on the Board of Trustees for the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, on the inaugural Advisory Council of the University of Washington’s EarthLab and on the Stakeholder Advisory Group committee for Sound Transit’s West Seattle & Ballard’s Link Extensions. Her Board service ended in 2017 for Mize Family Foundation, whose grantmaking focuses on climate justice. In 2018 she served on the fundraising team for the Yes on 1631 campaign, helping raise over $15M to take on Big Oil.

Prior to joining Climate Solutions, Savitha worked at Seattle Foundation where she served as philanthropic advisor to over 100 donor advised funds and the Environmental grant making lead; the Collins Group (now Campbell & Company) providing fundraising counsel for feasibility studies and capital campaigns; and at the Women's Funding Alliance in a fundraising and grantmaking role. In Washington DC, Savitha worked for the US EPA and Environmental Media Services (now Resource Media).

Savitha received a BA with Honors in Government and Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College. During her tenure at Climate Solutions, Savitha has been recognized with the 40 Under 40 award from the Puget Sound Business Journal and the Eco Women Making a Difference award from Women of Color Empowered & The Northwest Asian Weekly, and was awarded a Brainerd Foundation Fellowship to Social Venture Partners. She has lived in Seattle since 2000, and is a proud auntie.