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Changing the world

posted: Tue, Feb 16th, 2016

A bit of Mount Olive was recently on display in Paris at the United Nations Climate Change Conference thanks to the efforts of Ananya Singh.

The MOMS eighth-grader organized a school-wide campaign to create ribbons for the Climate Ribbon tree, a massive annual art project. Working with a small group of concerned friends, Ananya encouraged 160 fellow MOMS students to participate in the initiative and have their voices heard. The students wrote their names on two-foot-long strips of fabric and listed things they were afraid to lose as a result of climate change.

In Paris, the names and messages on all the hundreds of ribbons that formed the Climate Ribbon tree were read aloud during a special ceremony.

"This is important to me because it's our planet and we need to take care of it,” said Ananya. “We're the first generation to truly feel the effects happening and we have to step up and take responsibility.”

Because of her efforts on the ribbon campaign, Ananya was honored as the Volunteer in the Spotlight for the month of November by the Greenpeace National Activist Network.

Ananya attended a week-long summer camp for young activists last year and learned valuable leadership skills and ways to tap into existing resources to create awareness. Making good use of that training, she recently started YUMAI (Youth United Making An Impact) – a group for middle-schoolers who want to learn about important issues plaguing the world and what can be done to address them.

“I think Ananya’s going to change the world,” said Gina Heineman, science teacher and student council co-adviser. “She’s very hardworking, dependable, and has such a passion for helping others.”

Also participating in the climate ribbon project were Victoria Land, Samantha Lengyel, Sydney Mullin, Stacey Tang, Jessica Tang, Victoria Tang, Shreya Segu, Olivia Trezza, and Rhia Kumar.

You can learn more about YUMAI by going to www.yumai.weebly.com. The group’s next meeting is scheduled for February 9 at the Mount Olive Public Library, beginning at 7 p.m.

Mount Olive Middle School
160 Wolfe Road Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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