Being caregivers has its challenges, for sure, but we are also uniquely positioned to witness the transformation of our little ones into young stewards of our planet and advocates for climate change. Their energy and hope are contagious and motivate us to seek new ways to support them and their dreams for the future. As part of that goal, The Parents’ Climate Community spotlights youth activists to raise awareness both of the work they do and the ways we can help. Local student Ethan Tobias and his work on environmental justice are inspirational, and we are honored to feature him here.
Originally from San Antonio, Ethan found his passion for sustainability and environmentalism in middle school. He realized even then he’d discovered an important part of his future, and his interest was cemented when he took Environmental Science in high school. He credits his teacher Sally Gonzales for being a catalyst for his activism and for showing him ways to pursue his growing passion.
Now a senior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Ethan is the Sustainability intern for the University and has worked with both TexPIRG and Environment Texas. He is also serving his second term as President of Students for Sustainability, an organization fully run by students.
He acknowledges having a strong professional support system to fuel his work but says the most critical encouragement has been from his parents who instilled in him the qualities necessary for success. Ethan offers some advice for parents and adult allies wanting to bolster students’ environmental interests, which highlights the need for a collective effort between caregivers and educators. “If it begins in the household and then is reinforced in the classroom, we can build a generation that is more inclined to live a sustainable and green lifestyle.”
If you’d like to learn more about ways to get involved with the Students for Sustainability at St. Edward’s University, email SFS@stedwards.edu. You can also follow the organization’s Instagram or Facebook pages to see their work.