By Aidan Kotoski, student from Harwich, MA

In seventh grade, I became involved with a club called “Harwich Cares”. Throughout the year, we helped to educate our school on recycling, energy conservation, climate change and coastal erosion. Erosion was one of the biggest problems we faced since we lived on Cape Cod, a peninsula located in Massachusetts. Towards the end of the year, our school was so well educated on recycling and energy conservation that we were recycling more than we were wasting. We had accomplished so much that year that we were able to travel to Washington D.C. as award winners at NEED’s Youth Awards.

I was so inspired by what we had accomplished as students and the education that we provided throughout our community. This made me want to educate on a national level. So that year, I applied to join the youth staff for NEED. Every year since then, I have educated students in D.C. at the Youth Energy Conference and Awards, and around my state. I have operated about six energy carnivals in my own community since then. NEED has taught me to be the teacher. “Kids teaching kids” has really spoken to me. NEED has helped me to grow as a person, to be a leader. It is so amazing to think that I am the kid teaching the kid who was once just like me – unaware of what energy conservation and efficiency was. Today, I am so happy to say that I have been on staff with NEED for four years. I hope to continue educating kids on energy and be an inspiration for a better tomorrow.

2018 Youth Staff Cruise Photo