We met Kristina von Hoffmann of the Alliance for Climate Education, a nonprofit devoted to bringing climate science to high schools across the country -- and motivating kids to make a difference -- when the organization joined us as an outreach partner in our Green School Makeover competition last year. Below, her answers to the questions in our Global Green Room Interview. What would surprise us about your work?
It's surprising that the Alliance for Climate Education is one-of-a-kind in directly addressing the huge gap in our nation's education standards for environmental and climate science. We're working with the groups who are seeking to have climate science included in mandatory curricula nationwide, but while they're wading through huge bureaucratic hurdles, we're still the only organization with a scientifically credible, highly engaging, award-winning multimedia assembly that meets those academics standards.
Who is your hero?
I'm going to go with an obvious choice here: Our students. To educate and work with 14-18 year-olds, who are directly influencing and improving their campus communities through energy savings, waste reduction campaigns, and on-campus farmer’s markets to name a few examples, is an honor. They never cease to impress me. When I was in high school, I cared about the environment, but I didn't know what to do with that interest. ACE is helping channel the energy of students like me, and at the same time encountering more and more students who are already on this path, and providing the resources they need to go even further.
What has been your greatest success?
Finding work with integrity that incorporates my passions for environmental stewardship, performance (I’ve been doing spoken word and competitive slam poetry since my first year of high school), and community.
What about a failure or challenge?
You're not going to win over everybody in the audience, but when you channel your passions genuinely and with a warm heart, you can trust that you are making a great impression.
If you had the power to make one global and green change, what would it be?
End subsidies for all fossil fuel industries immediately, with a renewable energy grid already installed and adequate alternative energy sources in place, and provide the necessary education and training programs for the youth of America to continue building a sustainable reality on our planet for the next seven generations, and beyond.