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The changemakers

Exeter's next generation of environmentalists. 

By
Jennifer Wagner, Patrick Garritty and Sandra Guzmán
April 29, 2020
Exeter student Beatrice Burack greets Senator Amy Klobuchar at climate town hall

Beatrice Burack '21 greets Senator Amy Klobuchar at the New Hampshire Youth Climate and Clean Energy Town Hall in Concord, N.H.

The first Earth Day was celebrated across America on April 22, 1970. Thousands of colleges, universities and schools participated in the nationwide “teach-in.” A half-century later, the effort to raise awareness about the environment and promote direct action to safeguard our planet continues. 

Here we recognize a few of Exeter’s next-generation environmentalists taking up the cause. These are the young people, fueled by their own personal stories, intellectual ambitions and bravery, who see opportunity in the face of enormous climate challenges. Scientist Lucy Sun ’20 has spent the past three years working toward solving a worldwide worry — access to clean drinking water. This past February, climate lobbyists Beatrice Burack ’21Saskia Braden ’20 and Sadie DiCarlo ’21 joined New Hampshire voters in a crowded Concord concert hall to press presidential hopefuls on how they can effect change. Advocate Louis Mukama ’21 believes fighting climate change requires recognizing and addressing the social injustices that exist alongside it. And Mai Hoang ’20 uses her voice as a writer to inform and educate her peers about climate issues in her native Vietnam and around the world. “I know that this is dangerous journalism,” she says, “but the alternative — to stay quiet — is not an option.” 

Earth Day 2020 took place in the midst of a global pandemic, brought on by the rapid spread of a deadly, novel coronavirus. This threat is a keen reminder that we all share one planet. We breathe the same air and succumb to the same ills. And when we come together as a global society, all people, and the Earth, are better for it.