After spending four years dedicated to being environmentally-conscious at HWS, Jasmin Rostamnezhad ’13 is already acting on her passion for environmental studies in the months following graduation. Throughout the summer, Rostamnezhad attended the Climate Reality Leadership Corps in Chicago, Ill., where she received training from former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, chair of Climate Reality.
“HWS inspired my passion for environmental studies, the Climate Reality Leadership Corps seemed like the perfect way to begin a career in the environmental field, and the conference gave me even more motivation to go forward in this field and fight for our environment,” says Rostamnezhad, who was an environmental studies major.
The Climate Reality Project, founded and chaired by Gore, is dedicated to leading a global and cultural movement demanding action on climate change. The job of the Climate Leaders is to expose the realities of climate change and publicize solutions to minimize the human population’s effect on the planet.
“I chose to attend the conference to further my knowledge of our current environment, learn how to encourage and guide others to feel the same passion as I do, and learn more about the solutions to our climate crisis,” Rostamnezhad says.
The conference consisted of three core themes. On day one, leaders were taught how to relate to and connect with an audience in order to make them more receptive to the information they provide; day-two was a training session with Gore on how to present his climate presentation in the most effective way; and the third day focused on how climate change affects different aspects of people’s lives, from small businesses to health and family life. The conference also had an overarching emphasis on the most effective methods of using social media as a tool to promote change.
“Listening to Al Gore and feeling his passion was an amazing experience,” Rostamnezhad recalls. “Learning from such a knowledgeable and motivated person was inspiring in itself. Being surrounded by 1,500 people who have the same ideas and goals that I do was also such a shock, and it was so interesting to learn people’s backgrounds and to see what brought them to the conference.”
Following the conference, leaders were tasked with the completion of at least 10 “acts of leadership” to present the truth and motivate others to work toward change. Rostamnezhad has already written letters to editors around the Boston area, and plans to set up a blog as part of her acts of leadership. She also would like to return to HWS one day to present what she learned.
“Everything I learned at the Climate Reality Leadership Corps will be used in my future,” Rostamnezhad says. “Whether it be the way I present things or the science part of the conference, each piece will be useful to me.”