By Mary Cappelletti
Today, I write my tenth and final blog post for Cascadia Climate Action. I’m writing this a couple days after the big Climate Science on Tap event that signified the end of my internship and work with CCA. To wrap it all up, I was asked to write some final thoughts on the blog to summarize the summer. Working with Cascadia Climate Action has been a rewarding experience that taught me a lot, both about myself and about nonprofits.
Watching my boss, Mary, balance almost all of the work for CCA has made me realize how much goes into running a small organization and how difficult it can be with a small team. It often means people have their individual tasks to be completed independently and then reviewed jointly. Which can create differing ideas and various visions for the organization itself or aspects of it. But, more importantly I saw people overcome this and use teamwork and dedication to be efficient advocates for the environment. Things may not have always gone smoothly or quickly, but ultimately everyone was always eager to work hard to get the job done. I will always admire the amount of energy, time, commitment, and enthusiasm that the people I encountered bring to climate action. But, most of all, I will admire Mary Manous for her incredible dedication.
I also learned how lucky I am to be surrounded by such an amazing community here at UW and in Seattle. A few days before the recent Climate Science on Tap event my father was kind enough to fly out to Seattle to assist me in moving. Luckily, this meant he could attend the event and see a bit of what I’d been working on the past few months. One of his biggest takeaways was the community that had gathered at Lagunitas. The amount of people there dedicating their time to both learning about climate change and teaching about it was exciting to him. He also continuously expressed how impressed he was with the amount of PhDs and educated individuals at the event. This was a good reminder for me. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such dedicated, inspiring individuals that push me to be the best student, advocate, and person that I can be.
Lastly, this internship constantly reminded me of the urgent situation we humans have put ourselves and the other life that exists around us in. It’s sometimes difficult to find the right words to summarize what climate change is and all that it will mean for the world, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying. This experience reminded me how important it is for each and every one of us to be doing our part to reduce the impact we have. It reminded me of the sometimes intangible effects small actions can have and also the big changes we can make when we work together.
I am far from a fully informed and educated individual when it comes to most topics, including climate change. But, through my time with Cascadia Climate Action I’ve made leaps and bounds toward the type of advocator and person I want to be in life. I don’t know what I want to do with my life or how I will make a difference, but I learned that it is possible to make a difference and that there’s an entire community waiting to embrace me as I embark on a journey of fighting for this beautiful planet. I hope all of you will consider joining me and this inspiring community as we continue in this battle.