Eliza Sherpa, a rising junior at Skidmore College who made the crossover from teenager to twenty-something only just over a week ago, is spending her summer making a difference. An Environmental Studies major specializing in the discipline’s Social & Cultural track, Eliza combines her passion for the environment with her desire to effect change through leadership and activism.
This summer, Eliza is putting the knowledge she’s gained as a collegiette in the Environmental Studies major to good use by organizing and running the Shaleshock Direct Action Working Group (SDAWG), a group whose goal is to prevent the practice of hydraulic fracturing in New York State. Hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a hydrofracking or just plain fracking, is a method of natural gas extraction that has the potential to contaminate groundwater (which is often used for drinking water).
“There is a lot of power and potential in grassroots people’s resistance,” says Eliza of the decision to create SDAWG. “[The organization] was established to harness energy and allow people to come together” to make their anti-hydrofracking opinions heard.
SDAWG accomplished just that on June 27, 2012, when the People’s Action Against Fracking rally – which Eliza organized – successfully brought together 130 people in solidarity outside of Talisman Energy USA (a company that is one of the biggest hydrofracking organizations in Pennsylvania and which Eliza reports has received almost 300 environmental violations to date). Eliza called the rally “a great success,” and as the project’s organizer, this collegiette has a lot to be proud of!
Making a difference in college isn’t easy, yet Eliza manages to do so while maintaining a swoon-worthy GPA. In addition to acting as Skidmore College’s Environmental Action Club’s Co-Vice President and as a Sustainability Representative in the dorms, Eliza is currently a member of the Skidmore College Honors Forum, which admits students based on academic excellence and community citizenship. Busy girl!
So how does a collegiette like Eliza effect change?
“To personally make a difference,” Eliza explains, “I believe that it is crucial to be involved in your community and to continue to promote desirable change for the future . . . The ultimate fight, for me, isn’t just to ban fracking or successfully abolish fossil fuels, but to continue to gain momentum to build the communities we desire to live in – those that are safe, prosperous, and sustainable.”
Now you can also help make a difference by just one click. For every Wave for Change® video view at Neutrogena.com/waveforchange or on Facebook.com/Neutrogena, Neutrogena® will donate $1 to GlobalGiving to support U.S. educational charities. Watch. Donate. Share.
Any Neutrogena® Wave for Change® video views on Neutrogena.com/waveforchange and on Neutrogena® page on Facebook 7/1/12-8/31/12 will activate $1 donation to GlobalGiving. Neutrogena® will kick-off Wave for Change® with $100K donation. Then, for each eligible video view, Neutrogena® will donate for a maximum of $130K. For more information about GlobalGiving, visit GlobalGiving.org.
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