Holly Swiglo – Minnesota Nomination & Photography by Erinn Letts Photos Issue 64 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
Nomination: From the moment I met Holly, I was in awe. Behind this graceful pose is a young lady who is making a real difference in our world. Holly was chosen to be a fellow in the Friends of the Mississippi River’s Environmental Stewardship Institute, protested with Greta Thunberg, and is encouraging our school board to apply for the EPA Clean School Bus Grant. She also led a climate walkout with almost 600 participants, founded our high school’s environmental club, and was invited to present at the MN State Fair and a youth climate summit. She is truly an inspiring teen.
What inspiring things about you does your nomination not cover? A lot of hard work goes into activism that often isn’t apparent. You can put all your time and energy into an initiative, and it still won’t work out. I've always dreamed of making a difference in the world, and activism can get discouraging because it's hard to measure the impact one has as an activist. To pursue my passion, I've had to take these risks and have overcome many barriers along the way. As for dancing, I’ve worked hard over the years to eventually make my school’s varsity team, despite starting late and having little natural talent.
What else would you like to talk about? I’d like to talk more about my journey with environmental activism, including how I got involved, the challenges I’ve faced, and where I’m at now. I’d also like to discuss the importance of environmental action and what others can do to make an impact. Additionally, it would be great to talk about how dance has played a role in my life.
If you were to present a topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I’d talk about the importance of political action in the environmental movement. Most people think that being an environmentalist means doing things like recycling and driving less when in reality these actions don’t have much of an impact. Just 100 companies are responsible for over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions, but industries popularized recycling and the term “carbon footprint” in order to blame consumers for environmental issues. People need to know that the most effective way to protect the environment is to advocate for better policies, not make changes in their lifestyles.
Look for Holly in issue 64 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!