From the Minneapple to the Big Apple: A Teen’s Perspective on the People’s Climate March

YEA! MN
“All the pictures where I look really angry are really just the second before I was making a face because I was happy and comfortable enough to be silly” -Lucy West

Hi, my name is Lucy West and I’m a senior at St. Paul Central High School in Minnesota. I am also a co-president of my school’s environmental club, Roots & Shoots. I went to the People’s Climate March with a group of high schoolers from around the Twin Cities as part of the YEA! MN youth delegation – a program of the Will Steger Foundation. The People’s Climate March was a huge gathering of people in New York City of 400,000 people calling for immediate climate action.

At first, I was a little overwhelmed by how many people were crowded together especially the first hour and a half when we were waiting to march. It was impressive. It was exponentially more crowded than the busiest day at the state fair, and even that’s a grand understatement!

The most powerful moment by far was the moment of silence for all those who have already passed away due to climate change and for those who don’t have a voice. It was absolutely impressive how all 400,000 people could be so silent with their arms raised in unity. The quietest noises were the loudest in that moment as we took in the gravity. I had to break away for a moment to take a picture and capture how beautiful it was – to bring it home and share with others.

The People's Climate March
“It was exponentially more crowded than the busiest day at the State Fair” -Lucy West

For the rest of the march I was pretty exhausted, from the 25 hour bus ride there and from standing for so many hours. But I was filled with such joy from being around so many like-minded, impressive, and inspiring people. All the pictures where I look really angry are really just the second before I was making a face because I was happy and comfortable enough to be silly.

Overall, it was a great time and I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. I’m writing this on the bus ride home the day after the March. It’s been a crazy shift to go all the way to New York City and come back so fas t. It already feels like it was a dream. I’ve had such fun getting to know the other nine youth that came in our group. There were more than 50,000 youth, stretching for 10 city blocks. That’s a lot of kid power!

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Lucy is the Co-President of the Central High School Roots & Shoots Environmental Club, and a member of the YEA! MN Steering Committee. A core program of the Will Steger Foundation, YEA! MN supports a network of high school environmental clubs working together across the Twin Cities Metro to empower student leadership on climate change solutions, facilitate shared skills and strategies, and take coordinated action at home, at school, and in the wider community.

 

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