• Charlie Sweetman (UKSCN)

We have new volunteers!

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

New Volunteers

As of last week we have onboarded 21 new volunteers, which has increased our organisation’s capacity by more than two-fold. We asked a few them to introduce themselves and tell you why they decided to join Teach the Future

  • Aoife Mercedes Rodriguez-Uruchurtu, 15

“Hi my name is Aoife Mercedes Rodriguez-Uruchurtu, a 15 year old who started striking around the late spring of 2019 in Edinburgh. That’s when I further became involved with Scottish Youth Climate Strike where we organised mobilisations both nationally and locally. This occurred before a transition period where I ended up moving to Manchester and was able to get in contact with the local strike group, as well as the UK Student Climate Network; since, I’ve primarily been involved with the Youth Strike Manchester group, coordinating various actions. 

I grew up lucky enough to be surrounded by lovely areas of nature and kind individuals with a positive outlook towards our environment. To me, caring for the environment was a given and became quite naturally a part of my own ethos. As I grew older, I started to realise that this perspective was one, unfortunately, not shared by all. The lack of knowledge, care and respect became quite apparent which is why I chose to work together with my school to create a more environmentally friendly community. Then back in 2019, The Fridays For Future and Youth Strike 4 Climate movements ignited a further passion to create a much larger difference. 

Moving forward, I gained a wider perspective regarding the climate crisis and the injustices brought on by those most at fault. While at the strikes, particularly in Manchester, I’ve had the opportunity to further improve my media and spokesperson skills when working and speaking with the press. I’m currently involved with COP26 as well as COY16, where we hope to gain mass mobilisations and build on the movement that’s been created. My experience stretches further as we are beginning to reach out internationally, to ensure the voices of those most ostracised are heard. With Teach The Future I hope to help bring the change that we need through an ever necessary educational reform.”

  • Jamie Burrell, 14

“I’m delighted to be joining the team at Teach the Future. I’ve been passionate about politics and championing youth voice for a while. Since March 2019, I’ve been the elected Member of Youth Parliament for Cheltenham and Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire, in the South West. Since getting involved with the UK Youth Parliament, I’ve got involved in many other youth voice projects, one of them being the UK Student Climate Network, which Teach the Future is a part of”

  • Jodie Bailey-Ho, 16

“Hi, I’m Jodie, I’m 16 years old, and I’ve been with UKSCN for the past 7 and a half months now. Doing school development with UKSCN has been an amazing experience so far, and whilst I have made many new friends and even a climate podcast, helping the schools development team bring to life our now thriving network of schools in the UK has given me invaluable experience with other students who share the same mindset as me.

I think the close link with education that both schools development and Teach the Future have is what made the transition to join TtF so natural for me, especially since climate education is something that is so important to many of us in the school development team. I strongly feel that the current teaching on the climate in schools fails not only my generation, but also those in the future, and massively. The climate crisis is such a pressing issue, and whilst it has only come to light in the media recently, it is not a new concept, and in my opinion, is something we should have started learning about a long time ago.

Educational reform is not something we should have to ask for, it is something that should be given to us freely because it is what we need, something that is necessary in preparing for our futures, and the futures of many people to come.

I joined Teach the Future because I want to be part of making these changes, and if I can help make them with an amazing group of strong-minded and determined individuals, then I truly believe we can change the world.”

  • Katie Napier, 14

“I’m Katie and I live in the beautiful countryside of Scotland. I joined Teach the Future as I am part of SYCS (Scottish Youth Climate Strike); someone had mentioned that TtF was looking to expand into Scotland, where they needed help! I think this is a great movement and am shocked that it has taken us this long to get things up and running in Scotland! It’s going to be great to see how this works and hopefully see some change for the better”

  • Chloé Hawryluk, 17

“I’m Chloe, I’m 17 years old and I have been involved with climate campaigning for over a year. I first started by attending the YouthStrike4Climate school strikes, and from there I joined the U.K. Student Climate Network, where I currently help with Social Media and Film Production. 

In September 2019, I founded YouthStrike4Climate Stratford-upon-Avon, and we have been on strike almost every month since then. I joined the TeachTheFuture team because I recognise the severity of the climate crisis and the lack of recognition of it in the current education system, and feel like this is an important issue that needs addressing in our current society. Having been in formal education for all of my life, I feel that the severity of climate change is not addressed enough, so an urgent change is necessary”

  • Sara MacCormack, 15

“I’m a new volunteer from Scottish Youth Climate Strike. I joined because for so long I could just see that the vast majority of people are so uneducated on the climate emergency and that this led to people not caring about the crisis and also spreading misinformation.

My motivation to fight for climate justice comes from learning about all the climate and social injustice we are currently facing and will face in the future . I think if people know about the climate crisis, they must be called to act on it or at least I hope they will!

I began my activism last year and have been doing work for SYCS, SOS Saturdays and the COP26 Coalition. In SYCS I help with outreach, social media, our regional newsletters, our new members system and coordinate climate cafes in Edinburgh”

  • Zaqiya Cajee, 17

“I am Zaqiya Cajee; I am a teen climate activist and founder of SwopItUp -  an environmental initiative which allows 11-18 year olds to swop clothes in school for free ergo reducing the impact of fast fashion on the environment. I decided to join the Teach The Future team as I wanted to meet like-minded students, who are also passionate about the environment. I know that if I want to see change I have to work as hard as possible to make it happen. Being a part of the Teach the future campaign is a great way for me to do that as it is demanding a very specific change that is going to have so many positive knock on impacts. In terms of previous campaign experience, I have worked on expanding my initiative and through this I have had the opportunity to do radio interviews and speeches to large audiences. I also took part, as one of only three teens, in the #coronavirushackathon along with hundreds of others from all over the world to come up with solutions for bouncing back from the pandemic. I was a part of the environment group and we were coming with ideas for how  we can go back to a functioning society without the environment losing out. I can’t wait to be part of the Teach the Future campaign as I think it is a key component in securing an environmentally conscious future.”

  • Henry Webb, 19

“Hi, I’m Henry, I’m 19 and an international development student in Norwich. I have over a year of experience

in environmental activism, through Extinction Rebellion, Animal Rebellion, and climate strikes. I have a strong interest in journalism and media, and believe that providing people with accurate information about an issue, particularly one as significant as the climate crisis, is essential to creating a population that is prepared to solve problems and hold politicians accountable when they fail to act. 

For this reason, I recently joined the Teach the Future team, as it is essential that the education system prepares us for the crisis we are facing. Right now, education about the climate emergency is insufficient in most schools, yet a majority of students want to know more about this issue. Throughout my time at school and starting university, I have consistently found climate change education to be outdated and insufficient. It is no longer acceptable to discuss climate change as a problem in the future while teaching students about fossil fuel extraction as if this is a sustainable career choice.  

It’s time for the education system to catch up to the reality of the climate crisis, and start preparing us for a zero-carbon future.”

  • Kieran Kiggell, 15

“The reason that I started campaigning for Teach The Future was I felt like I had been let down. I was let down that I had to be told about the climate crisis by a fellow student. I was let down that my school was not showing me how severe the climate crisis is. 

I am Kieran and I am 15 years old so I was supposed to sit my GSCEs this summer. GCSEs are supposed to set a framework for our learning in the future and provide essential knowledge to all those who do not wish to or can’t further their education, yet unless you take courses that encompass natural sciences you won’t hear your teacher say the words climate crisis at all; and if you do it's likely not for more than a few lessons. This is a failure of the government as they are not giving us the essential information we would need to prepare ourselves for the future. On top of this, the government has failed to educate the teachers on the subject. How can we expect them to be able to teach us if they are not being given adequate training and resources into how they can best teach about the climate crisis, and the problems that will inevitably come with it, without causing eco anxiety?

 I want to help change these problems”

  • Esther Silverton

"I’m Esther Silverton, I’ve been striking for climate for over a year, since the strikes started in Edinburgh. I helped to start Scottish Youth Climate Strike, and have helped coordinate many large protests.

I joined Teach the Future because I believe that education on the climate crisis of the first step to eradicating the ignorance that surrounds it, and can empower individuals to want to help solve this crisis, once we are educated and aware of this crisis and it causes, I don’t see why we would not try to find solutions"

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Teach the Future is a youth-led campaign to urgently repurpose the entire education system around the climate emergency and ecological crisis.
The English campaign is run by two organisations, UKSCN and SOS-UK.

The Scottish campaign is run by two organisations, FFF Scotland and NUS Scotland.

The campaign is led by a team of over 40 young volunteers. 

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