#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Allison Bencsik

#BecauseOfYouth Spotlight: Allison Bencsik

The #BecauseOfYouth Spotlight series highlights young environmentalists in MCE’s service area who are leading the fight against climate change.

Allison Bencsik (she/her) is a Co-President of Napa Schools For Climate Action (NS4CA). Inspired by a presentation by Jim Wilson, Napa Climate NOW! leader, Allison joined the fight against climate change. Engaging at local, state, and federal levels, she actively advocates for climate action, focusing on projects like Fossil Free Future and Climate Restoration. Passionate and dedicated, Allison plays a significant role in shaping a sustainable future and envisions a future with improved policies for emissions and polluting infrastructure.

What type of projects or initiatives have you worked on in your community?

Our two major projects are our Fossil Free Future Project, which consists of getting prohibitions against building new and expanding current gas stations, and our Climate Restoration Project, which is currently working to get a federal climate restoration resolution. We also run many community engagements and activities, including our annual Our Future Is in Your Hands Creative Piece Contest and the Napa County Climate Challenge.

Why did you decide to join your organization/club and begin working on community engagement efforts?

I was introduced to NS4CA by Jim Wilson, a Napa Climate NOW! member, when he gave a presentation about the climate emergency to my sophomore chemistry class. It was an eye-opening experience. He informed us about the harmful effects we are already experiencing due to global warming. This motivated me and my classmates to understand how we can fight the climate crisis. He told us about the efforts of NS4CA and connected us with former leaders. Since then, I have been actively working at the local, state, and federal levels to advocate for climate action.

What are some ideas you have to make our world greener and cleaner?

To achieve a greener and cleaner world, we must push for climate action at the policy level. The first step is to cut down on emissions. Our focus should be on stopping the creation of any new polluting infrastructure and instead investing in clean energy infrastructure. The next step is to restore our climate to its original and healthy composition. However, the most crucial factor overall is to maintain the support and encouragement of young climate activists as we will be the future policymakers, scientists, and others who will lead the charge for change in the near future.

What is your favorite memory at your organization/club?

One of my favorite memories with NS4CA was the launch of the Napa County Climate Challenge at American Canyon High School (ACHS). We spent a lot of time planning and working with the American Canyon Climate Action Ad Hoc Committee and other ACHS students to organize a big after-school rally to kick off the challenge. The rally was educational and fun and featured a presentation, climate-related games, and delicious snacks from our culinary classes. The launch was a huge success, and by the end of the challenge, we had prevented around 480 tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted, according to our metrics on the challenge’s website. It was extremely gratifying to have played a part in unifying my local community and initiating a positive transformation that we could all be proud of!


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