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Junior Anya Sastry: Youth Activist Leader For Environmental & Social Justice

This week, junior Anya Sastry was appointed outreach director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike, an organization aimed at mobilizing young people to work against global warming and climate change.

Earlier this month, Anya served as an Illinois state leader and helped coordinate a 500-strong walk-out and rally in her hometown of Chicago as part of a global event organized by the U.S. and Global Youth Strike movements.

Inspired by Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg, the Youth Climate Strike movement spurred school walk-outs and global rallies, including events in nearly 100 countries around the world, on March 15.

At Loomis, Anya is a prefect in the Longman Leadership Institute — a campus residential learning community in Longman Hall focused on women in leadership and female empowerment. She credits her experience at Loomis for playing a part in her commitment to activism, and she has organized and joined in rallies, demonstrations, and other activities on and off campus targeting environmental concerns and issues of social justice.

"Loomis has been an environment where I have been encouraged to express my beliefs and discuss the things I'm passionate about," Anya said. "My experience here has a part to play in my interest in activism."

Anya became aware of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike organization through social media and other online connections. Part of her role as a state lead was to contact and speak with members of the local and national media. Connect to listen to an interview with Anya and her co-organizer, Isabella Johnson, on Chicago NPR affiliate station WBEZ.

Anya looks forward to continuing in her youth activism leadership role throughout this spring and summer. She hopes to inspire others, and said she would be happy to connect with young people interested in getting involved with the U.S. Youth Climate Strike.