Written by Intern Kacie Beth

My name is Kacie Beth and I’m a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder and an intern at 350 Colorado. This organization has been the perfect fit as it’s further prepared me within my major, while giving a glimpse into the career path I plan to take after going to graduate school to receive an MBA in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development. 

Although the environment has been a newfound interest that I’ve recently decided to pursue as a career, it has always been something I valued and prioritized. In fact, Colorado’s pristine environment is what made me decide to leave the Bay Area and attend a university out-of-state. From the breathtaking backdrop of the Flatirons centered in the heart of Colorful Colorado — a state known for its abundance of wildlife and ongoing list of ways to take advantage of the outdoors —CU students have a mutual appreciation for what the university has to offer. 

While finishing up my degree in the midst of a pandemic and in a completely online world, my last year in college has taken on an entirely new form. Although I prefer online classes as it allows for a more flexible schedule, there’s a social aspect that is being compromised, both as a student and activist. To be unable to do the things you both want and feel the need to do can feel daunting, discouraging, and like you’re at a standstill. However, just because there is a physical distance between one another, doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to still come together. There is power in numbers and change often comes from the grassroots, and reflecting on life a year ago from now is yet another fantastic reminder of what we are capable of. 

2019 was called the year of the climate strikes. In September, massive protests took place across the globe to call attention to the environmental crisis, with 1.6 million students walking out of classrooms in a coordinated day of strikes in more than 156 countries. One of the heroines behind the protests was Greta Thunberg, who has created a name for herself as an internationally-regarded environmental activist. Here in Colorado, thousands rallied to the state capitol in Denver and in other parts of the state, while I attended the local protest here in Boulder. Protesters were so passionate, anxious to create change, and fearless in sharing their voice. 

On the anniversary of something so powerful and inspiring, it’s easy to feel defeated knowing that it isn’t possible to replicate this year. Times have changed and life looks a lot different now, but it’s important to keep your head up and look for alternate ways to get involved. From signing a petition, sending a letter, or attending a webinar to continue to stay informed, taking action online is a simple yet effective way to make a difference. Click here to find more ways on how to get involved! COVID-19 has affected the global economy, global health, businesses, education and overall way of life. But in regards to activism and ways you can still make a difference, that shift was simply from the streets to your screen.

Support youth climate action! Consider making a donation to support 350 Colorado’s internship program. Each year we host 10-12 youth interns who get hands on training in grassroots activism, leadership development and coaching from our staff and leaders. Click here to make a donation!