By Hannah Smith August 21, 2018

This summer I had the incredible opportunity to intern with an organization that allows me to make a difference, and I am happy to say that organization is Defend Our Future. My engagement with peers came in different forms: registering young Arizonans to vote, getting them to pledge to turn out for the primary and midterm elections, and working with our team to engage with them through social media.

Over my summer break I took the time to participate in several events hosted by the Arizona team. Pride in the Pines was a great time had by all and allowed everyone involved to be their own narrators of their stories, with my fellow interns and I sharing our acceptance in the community and our love for the environment in a way that was accommodating to people from all walks of life.

We also were present for educational events such as Defend Our Chocolate, which involved professionals and intellectuals in the fields of food production, the making of chocolate, and local government discussing the threats climate change poses to the industry. Not only were my fellow interns and I able to learn what went into our tasty treats, but the panel also allowed us to foster a deeper appreciation for chocolate and those who make its presence possible, as well as the many ways in which climate change is already affecting us on a daily basis.

As this summer comes to a close and the Fall semester is set to begin, I am excited to reach out to new students on my campus and enlist them in the fight to help turn the tide on climate change, while strengthening bonds I’ve formed with my fellow Defenders. Defend Our Future is an organization that prides itself in the preservation of our environment, and for that reason I'm honored to continue my work with the team to ensure we send pro-environmental candidates to Washington this November.

Hannah Smith is a junior at Arizona State University.