CEP Interns Contribute to a Good Cause

3 months ago | May 10, 2018
By: CEP Staff,
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The Climate + Energy Project is a great place for students to get working experience and contribute to a good cause. We recently added three interns: Claire Byers, Mackenzie Knox, and Allison Rozel. All are students at the University of Kansas. In this blog entry, Claire Byers shares a bit about her CEP intern experience.


I have been an intern with the Climate + Energy Project (CEP) since January. Over the last few months I have learned so much about environmental issues and how they affect my community. I was able to assist with CEP LIVE Facebook videos, featuring weekly interviews with leading advocacy organizations. These videos led up to WEALTH Day at the Capitol, which opened my eyes to topics in Kansas concerning Water, Energy, Air, Land, Transportation, and Health. I previously had no exposure to policy issues and what was happening in the Kansas Legislature. This was an incredible experience and opportunity to learn from so many inspirational leaders that are right in my community.

 

As an environmental studies student at KU, I am constantly hearing negative news stories on what is happening globally to our environment. Although a big change must happen, it must start small and in a community setting. It was empowering to see so many people advocating for WEALTH issues at the Capitol. I had been intimidated by the idea, but this experience really proved to me that individuals can make a difference and that it is all about how you present the information.


While I have always been interested in science, I recently realized my passion was learning how to communicate science in an effective way. Interning for CEP has given me more confidence and skills to do this, even in such a short time. One such issue that is of importance to me is environmental justice. After I graduate next spring, I plan to get my master’s in urban planning with an environmental focus. I hope to work on improving areas involving injustices and educate communities on environmental issues. Currently I’m taking an urban planning course that allowed me to look at Lawrence’s sustainability plan and its strengths and weaknesses, helping to spark my interest.


I found that Lawrence has been given a 4 STAR rating out of 5, the only community in Kansas to achieve this. The STAR rating evaluates local governments on economic, environmental, and social factors that measure progress toward community sustainability.


Through the work of CEP and other organizations, Kansans are making strides to close gaps in health equity and strengthen our communities. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to learn from them!


In the future I hope to use my skill set and background to advance urban design and policy toward sustainability and equality. Although these are large goals, I am confident that my internship with CEP will help push me in the right direction.



CEP Interns Contribute to a Good Cause