Choosing to Take a Stand

by Alexa Markley

July 9, 2013

[caption id="attachment_18886" align="aligncenter" width="584"]Greenpeace Semester student Sofia Szmirnov working with a community in Panama to build homes. Greenpeace Semester student Sofia Szmirnov working with a community in Panama to build homes.[/caption] Written by Greenpeace Semester student Sofa Szmirnov. I have just completed my first day of the Greenpeace Semester,a training program in Washington, DC for young people to gain the knowledge and skills to become environmental leaders. I have joined the Semester because I believe with hard work and commitment we can change the future of our planet. Coming from Panama, Ive been able to witness climate change hit the most vulnerable population in my country: communities living in extreme poverty. I have seen and met way too many families that have lost all their belongings in floods or who have nothing to eat because droughts have killed their crops. I've seen entire communities go thirsty because the wells they use to get water are now dry. I think that enough is enough.In Panama, we need to pressure our government to stop destroying the planet, and to work towards a sustainable future. Thats why today I have chosen to take a stand, to make a difference. This is why today I stop saying we should and start saying I will. I believe that a sustainable future is in reach and that we can stop global warming. I choose to fight for this planet that I passionately love. I choose to give a voice to those who are not heard. I know it will be hard, I know it will take a lot of work, time and dedication. But I am not afraid, because now I know that there are thousands of young people just like me, willing to fight for the future of the planet. This is what brought me to the Greenpeace Semester, andI am excited to see what the next five weeks will bring.I know Ill come out of the Greenpeace Semester ready to take on the long road towards fighting global warming and building a sustainable future. Are you interested in gaining the skills to become a leader for the environment? Applications are still open for the fall 2013 Greenpeace Semester, and the deadline is Wednesday July 10th. Don't wait - apply today!

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