Revolutionizing the Endorsement Process
By: Katie Rueff
This past summer, Anna Villavicencio, an 8th grade student from Three Rivers Union Middle School in the small mountain town of Three Rivers, organized and brilliantly executed an Endorsement Video hoping to inspire REI to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R.2307).
She started this project with her school’s environmental club by contacting REI personnel via email. Discouraged by the lack of response she and other CCL members received from the company, she decided to take matters into her own hands and make a video in order to “send a meaningful message” and “get [REI] to listen.”
After getting her feet on the ground with some help from Sharon, the Youth Action Team adult coordinator, Anna was well on her path to compiling a team of students from across the nation. She stressed the importance of leaving “room for lots of creativity” as the students began to film their videos. Her favorite part, she says, was “watching each of the individual videos come in.” It was especially satisfying when “the last video came in.”
By the end of the summer, Villavicencio, with the help of Sharon and Rickey (an editor and member of CCL in South Carolina), had compiled a video, deemed an endorsement video, with all the clips that had been sent in. After “seeing a new generation using their products,” Villavicencio hopes that REI will be motivated “to help protect the areas” and people that will be most affected by climate change.”
Despite the relentless, collective efforts of Anna, Ken Wall, and Kyle Kammien (the two CCL liaisons for REI), the biggest obstacle in the team’s path, according to Villavicencio, is simply “getting the attention of REI” since the company seems “pretty intent on only backing the conservation measures that they already were.”
While there’s still a lot of work to do, she and her team truly deserve a round of applause for their continued dedication and creativity to ensure that the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act is passed. The work Anna and her team have done demonstrates a deep commitment to generating change and have proposed a new means for gaining the attention of potential endorsers of H.R.2307. Even if you’re just one young individual, this REI endorsement video proves that you can make a significant impact on climate change.
Click the link above to watch the full video.
Katie Rueff is a junior at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California. Outside of her work with CCL, she is the Vice President of Gunn’s Green Team and an active advocate for sustainability in her community.