Through the P.O.W.E.R. Program (Peer Outreach with Energy Resources), a partnership of Audubon Naturalist Society and the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Montgomery County students help residents learn about conservation, efficiency, and renewable opportunities available to them. One student, Samia Abdallah, age seventeen, wrote the following essay about her experience. This was first featured in the Audubon Naturalist Society’s Summer 2019 Naturalist Quarterly. This was part of their “The Climate Crisis: Seven Actions for Seven Generations” series.
I attend Northwood High School in the Montgomery County Public Schools as a junior/rising senior. I got involved in the P.O.W.E.R. Program through my best friend, Sebastian, who knows how much I love making a difference for the environment.
I’ve found that I don’t have to know everything to make a difference. I’ve been able to make a real impact on families by introducing ways to decrease their energy use without uprooting their entire routine.
My participation in this program gave me the confidence to give presentations with my peers at community science events. I am also a member of the newly founded Environmental Club at Northwood, and, with support from the ANS GreenKids program, I’ve gotten Northwood re-certified as a Maryland Green School. I presented at a STEM fair in April alongside other students from Northwood that are part of the TESS Academy (Technological Environmental Science Systems) to educate others on issues ranging from climate change to ways to conserve and how we can take care of Sligo Creek.
Climate Change is a serious issue that needs all the attention it can get. If people aren’t actively making changes in their daily lives to conserve energy, use cleaner energy, or reduce waste, they are contributing to the problem. Many people feel as if it’s “Go big or go home.” I believe that small changes accumulate enough to make a difference. I believe my role is to advocate and educate others on this issue so that they feel compelled to make the small changes that really add up.