BUTTE COLLEGE, Oroville, CA – Nine Butte College Sustainability Studies students and instructor Mimi Riley were awarded a $6,000 grant to attend and participate at the PowerShift 2013 Conference in Pittsburgh, PA recently. The bi-yearly conference hosts over 10,000 young students and activists campaigning to bring awareness and change to the nation's declining environment.
"The environmental situation is dire, and I think that young people must get moving very quickly and on a broad scale to demand and create change. They have the moral authority and passion to lead this transition because they are the people who are going to have to live on this depleted Earth and find solutions that will render it habitable for them and for future generations," said instructor Mimi Riley.
The grant was awarded by the non-profit Energy Action Coalition (EAC), a nation-wide organization of 50 youth-led environmental groups committed to creating a world of clean, renewable energy and a restored environment of social justice.
In 2011, Riley and her students were able to raise enough private funds to attend the PowerShift Conference held in Washington, D.C., and many of those students have gone on to do great things to continue to bring awareness to the environmental cause; transferring to four-year universities to further their education in environmental studies, obtaining statewide leadership positions with the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC), and even traveling throughout India and Thailand to get involved in the fair trade movement.
Riley says that students call the PowerShift Conference "a transformative experience" and return "energized and organized". Approximately 25 students from Butte County traveled as a group to Pittsburg, and held panel presentations at the Butte College Sustainability Resource Center and in the BMU at Chico State following the conference.