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High School Students, Counselors Gear Up for Next National Environmental Summit

February 5, 2015

Category: Environmental Science, Events

 Counselor Israel Suarez and summit students find a variety of wildlife on the College's Stanback Ecological Preserve.

High school students from across the country and counselors on the Catawba College campus have already marked their calendars for July 7-11, 2015.

That’s the date of the fifth annual National Environmental Summit for High School Students. The Center for the Environment at Catawba and Rocky Mountain Institute will partner again this year to offer the popular event, which helps students ages 14-17 discover how they can use their talents and interests to make a difference in the world.

Student Madison Lemoine of Jupiter in Tequesta, Fla., found the National Environmental Summit so interesting that she attended two times.

"It was such a great experience," she says. "I met so many awesome people that I had to go back."

The guest speakers, like Doc Hendley who started a foundation to bring clean water to third world countries when he was in his 20s, inspired her. "He taught me that anyone can make a difference," Madison says. "But someone has to start. If I sit back and watch, nothing is going to happen."

Madison learned about whole systems thinking at the summit and the importance of communication and collaboration in getting a project off the ground. "That was new for me so it helped me know how to approach my project," she says. She has always tried to be a good steward of the environment.

"I’ve always tried to help," she says, "but the summit started a passion in me."

madisonlemoine.png  Lemoine worked in the lab at the summit.

Kerstin Brown of Willow Springs, N.C., first got acquainted with the National Environmental Summit as a high school participant. Then she helped as a counselor.

"Being able to be at the summit as a participant and see how it runs from that end and then to be a counselor and a part of the planning process for other summits has really been a good experience," Kerstin says. "We take in feedback from previous years and really work to make changes that will make the event even better."

She remembers when she was a participant. "I really liked the ideas brought from other participants as well as the speakers," she says. "Getting all those people who thought like I did in the same area was really great."

To apply for the 2015 National Environmental Summit for High School Students, visit If you have any questions, please call (704) 637-4727.

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