Pictured from left: New York students Nicole Menendez, Gabriel Garcez, and Rahil Verma at the climate rally in New York City.
On September 20, three days ahead of the U.N. Climate Action Summit 2019, a group of 13 students and three staff members from New York Institute of Technology attended the climate rally in New York City. The group joined thousands of people marching in lower Manhattan demanding actions from officials on the global climate crisis.
“It was extremely rewarding to be able to participate in such a great crowd, fighting for one single thing that unites us all,” said Gabriel Garcez, an electrical and computer engineering student who hopes to one day use his degree to help reduce the carbon footprint that electricity leaves on our planet.
The rally was part of the Global Climate Strike, a larger effort in which cities across the world also took part. “Our group was 16 people strong and part of a crowd of over 100,000 rally-goers in New York City alone. Worldwide, there were millions of people striking,” said Luzia Ogureck, associate director of Experiential Education, who organized the trip. “I think it was important to organize the trip to show that New York Tech is part of this movement, and that we, as an educational institution, care for the future of our planet. As a community of makers, innovators, and inventors, we are predestined to provide solutions for pressing issues relating to climate change.”
New York Tech students and staff attended the climate rally in New York City ahead of the U.N. Climate Action Summit. Photo by Gabriel Garcez.
The trip inspired the students to do more in their life on and off campus. “I have been considering limiting my plastic use and becoming a vegetarian for a while as a part of my individual responsibility to the planet,” said Kristin Gorecki. “The rally opened my eyes to how much more I could be doing for the environment and I plan to do so by slowly transitioning into a more sustainable way of living.” Gorecki is a digital film and television production major and hopes to produce films and documentaries focusing on the importance of saving the planet.
“The experience made me feel empowered,” said Nicole Menendez, a psychology major. “I saw so many young people who were fearless and courageous. Being in the sea of people who were fighting for their right to live made me feel braver to speak out. I am proud to be part of the generation of change.”
Interested in getting involved? Consultants for Public Good connects students, faculty, staff, and alumni with non-profit organizations for community-based volunteer opportunities and the Civic Engagement/Community Service Center offers ways to get civically, electorally, politically engaged.