The San Juan Preservation Trust is pleased to announce the winners of its first-ever, board-sponsored Climate Leadership Scholarships, awarded to two members of the Class of 2020 who are graduating from island high schools.
Congratulations to Rachel Snow (Friday Harbor High School) and Arla Sutton (Orcas Island High School)! A committee of Preservation Trust board members selected Rachel and Arla from a truly impressive group of applicants from across San Juan County.
The Preservation Trust’s intention in awarding the $2,000 scholarships is to recognize and encourage students in our island communities who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment, effort, and imagination in addressing the issue of climate change, and who plan a course of collegiate study that equips them to amplify their climate-focused endeavors.
“Climate change is already altering ecosystems on the lands that the Preservation Trust conserves and stewards,” said Michael Popiwny, who chaired the selection committee. “This year’s scholarship recipients, Arla and Rachel, have truly distinguished themselves as members of the generation that is leading us all toward understanding what is needed to protect and conserve our islands, and the rest of the planet, in a warming environment.
Here is how this year’s climate scholars plan to make the world a better place, in their own words:
“I think that the future of fighting climate change is through green engineering and innovation in the technology field. I have been accepted to the University of Washington’s college of engineering. I get to be a part of that next step, finding a practical solution to greenhouse gas emissions, to find new materials, new methods, to create something brand new to help solve the climate crisis and transform the society we live in today to be a healthier one.”
“The climate crisis is here and now and it requires action. My college years will be spent performing cutting-edge research and solving our world’s biggest problems. I am excited to be attending Olin College of Engineering, a tiny college located just outside of Boston. Founded only two decades ago, Olin takes a new approach to engineering education by training students to address real-world problems from day one. I will study engineering through an environmental lens while at the same time making progress towards a new future.”