President Brien Lewis, Dr. John Wear, and Heather White of EWG

President of Catawba College Brien Lewis, Founder of the Center of the Environment Dr. John Wear and Heather White, Executive Director of Environmental Working Group 

Dr. John Wear, Director of the Center for Environment at Catawba College, welcomed Heather White and Catawba College President Brien Lewis to the 2015 Designing the Future Summit for high school students.

President Lewis noted that Catawba College is an award-winning green college. The college is currently working on a solar panel project which is the largest academic solar panel project in the state of North Carolina. Panels on top of campus buildings will save money and resources over the years which is good for all of us.

Some other projects Lewis mentioned were the sustainable garden on campus and a bike share program for students. These, along with other projects like turning cafeteria waste into compost, make Catawba College an excellent college to major in environmental science or studies.

Waste from the Cafeteria is Used to Make Rich Compost at Catawba College
Heather White, the keynote speaker for 2015, is the executive director of Environmental Working Group (EWG) - a partner on the Redesigning the Future summer camp program. She has a law degree and testifies before congress on important environmental issues.

White encouraged campers to make plans. She said she wrote down where she wanted to be by the age of thirty and worked to make her dreams happen. President Lewis also noted that he took the same successful approach. Both encouraged students to be purposeful in moving toward the future.

One student did ask how it was possible to tell if goals set were realistic. White noted that this was a good question. She said, "You don't know." She said the process was really the important part. As students move toward goals, they may find that they discover new avenues that better fit their strengths and interests explained White.

Another tip White shared was that it was important to network. She said that those in the field to make the world a better place love to share what they have learned and explain how young people can get involved and help. She encouraged campers not to be shy. She said that they should make it a point to talk to or contact their environmental heroes. Often students find mentors when they reach out to learn more and to get help with their earth-friendly projects noted White.

Students Mingling and Enjoying Snacks After the Keynote Address


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