My days in NEED began when I was in sixth grade (I am currently a rising senior) when my science teacher introduced a club called “Energy Wise” to the class. I thought it would be fun to join the club because I would get to evaluate the teachers (on their energy conservation) instead of them evaluating me, and I could possibly win a trip to Washington, D.C. at the end of the year. As my sixth grade year progressed, I inherited a passion for energy conservation and continued to participate in the club throughout middle school. My passion became so strong that the trip at the end of the year was no longer my motive; instead, teaching energy conservation to the community with my closest friends was my motive.

Once I was in high school, there was no Energy Wise club which was upsetting because participating in NEED activities became a part of me in middle school. My sophomore year, my close friend Brooke and I started the Energy Wise club in high school in which we completed the NEED curriculum, volunteered with the middle school club, participated in energy conservation projects in the community, and promoted energy efficiency within our school. The previous year (2015) Brooke was a member of the Youth Staff and she encouraged me to sign up for staff in 2016.

Being a staff member completely changed my perspective on NEED. During the past two years on staff, I have been blown away to watch NEED students from all around the country come together for one cause: energy conservation. It is important for kids to participate in NEED, whether as staff or a participant, because energy conservation and renewable energy are the future. NEED implements energy conservation into today’s youth and challenges students to make a difference in their community. To me, the Youth Energy Conference and Awards Program means that there are others who are just as passionate about energy conservation as I am, and are willing to work hard to create change.