Green Initiatives coming to the CUNY Climate Scholars Program at Baruch

Adriana Maria Lopez Tavares, Opinions Editor

Students at CUNY who are interested in climate activism can now engage in green initiatives launched by three New York City education leaders who aim to increase the climate-smart workforce as climate change worsens.

Climate activists at Baruch College can look forward to an expansion of the Climate Scholars Program. The nine-month experience will establish an environment in which 2600 CUNY students and 56 STEP Academy scholars will collaborate to build on each other’s ideas.

Zandile Koikai, a CUNY Climate Scholar at Baruch, said she and other students in the CUNY community want to make a change within their community, furthermore, supporting a forum that encourages our climate advocates can have a positive change within society.

“This program has deepened my understanding and knowledge on climate change and sustainable energy usage, making me a better advocate for myself and everyone else,” she said, according to a NYCEDC press release.

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez, NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball announced that six CUNY colleges will receive $3.98 million in city funding. The six colleges are Kingsborough Community College, Bronx Community College, LaGuardia Community College, New York City College of Technology, Lehman College and Baruch College.

The initiatives range from renovating technology buildings at KCC, developing courses about autonomous vehicles at BCC, developing courses about green energy environmental solutions at NYCCT, to establishing programs at LaGuardia which prepare students for jobs within the offshore wind industry.

In Baruch’s program, students will participate in biweekly informative sessions with experts in the field as they learn more about climate and renewable energy issues.

For 12 weeks, the CSS  program will be working alongside faculty mentors on developing research projects that will end with a rewarding presentation event on what scholars have learned.

The program will also issue a three-month internship experience to students looking to further their skill set. They will be paired with an organization that focuses on climate-relevant issues.

According to Baruch College Climate Change Faculty, many of these themes are similar to the topics the CSS curriculum examines, such as mitigation and climate resilience.

“Creating a green jobs pipeline for New York City students is essential to capitalize on the growth of our new emerging sectors and ensure good paying jobs are going to New Yorkers,” Andrew Kimball, NYCEDC president, said in a CUNY Press Release.

Applications for Baruch’s program open in April and the program is slated to start in March.

The CSS  Program will also be expanded to three other CUNY institutions: Brooklyn College, Bronx Community College and Hunter College.