What inspires you? What motivates you to get up every morning and make the world a better place to live? What are the passions that drive you?
Last month, a group of 20- and 30-year-olds in Austin got together to talk about just that. At an event called, “Into the Wild: True Tales from Environmental Activists” they shared their personal stories of triumph, failure, and inspiration.
Their stories are funny, poignant, and entertaining, but most importantly, they are filled with hope. These are a group of people that believe in a better future and know that they can play a role in making it happen.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy your daily dose of inspiration.
Kendra Bones – The First Hunt
Kendra Bones, an environmental scientist and activist, shares her story of learning to hunt with her father. Throughout, she unpacks the lessons she learned from the experience, both as a child and an adult.
“I had this internal dilemma as a middle schooler – I love animals, and I’ve hunted, and who am I?” – Kendra Bones
Aly Tharp – Preparing For The Worst
Aly Tharp, a climate justice activist, shares her story of learning to prepare for the worse with her father – an apocalypse prepper – and to transform that anxiety and fear into positive community action.
“When I was 16 years old, my father starting preparing for the apocalypse.” – Aly Tharp
Lukas Ebert – Coming Out (As Vegan) In Kansas
Lukus Ebert, a policy analyst with Texas Impact, tells his story of coming out (as vegan) to his family and reluctantly learning to love the great outdoors.
“It’s like, alright, you can like men, or you can be vegan… but you cannot be both. You cannot be both.” – Lukas Ebert
Josh Blaine – I Think I Can
Josh Blaine, a local zero waste advocate, shares his story of finding piece and happiness outside in nature… and turning that into a commitment to always protect it.
“But at some point it came to me, this mantra from this book that had been read to me a lot at the time, a book I’m sure others are familiar with… And with each step, I started saying, ‘I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” – Josh Blaine
Amy Stansbury – All You Have To Do Is Show Up
Amy Stansbury, AEN Editor-In-Chief, shares her story of covering small town City Council meetings as a newspaper reporter… and how doing so taught her what it means to show up and make a difference in your local community.
“There are days when someone’s going to throw a Wendy’s frosty at your face. But their are other days when you’re going to win. There are other days when you’re going to run farther and faster than you ever have before. There are other days when you’re going to run farther and faster then you ever imagined you could before.” – Amy Stansbury
Dave Cortez – In Search of Home
Dave Cortez, a community organizer with the Sierra Club, shares his story of growing up in El Paso and how it led to a lifelong pursuit of environmental justice for all.
“I crumbled that day when I found all this. That broke my heart…I ask myself, how is this my home?” – Dave Cortez
(Unfortunately Dave was sick during the live filming of this event, so he recorded his story at home for all us to listen to. And one more note – Dave is a passionate guy, so the occasional curse word comes out in his story, in case you’re listening with your kids 🙂 )