A 21-year-old from McLean will help give young Virginians a say in how the U.S. government addresses climate change and other environmental issues.
Sophia Kianni, who founded the nonprofit Climate Cardinals, is one of 16 people appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s first-ever youth advisory council, which will provide independent guidance and recommendations on policies related to greenhouse gas emissions, clean air and water, and more.
Announced last week in a press release and a Teen Vogue interview, the National Environmental Youth Advisory Council (NEYAC) consists of people aged 16 to 29 who will serve two-year terms. It will report directly to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who visited Flint Hill Elementary School in Vienna last year to highlight Fairfax County Public Schools’ new electric school buses.
“Young people have been at the forefront of every movement for political and social change in American history, and the environmental movement is no different,” Regan said in the press release. “Today we are cementing seats for young leaders at EPA’s table as we tackle the greatest environmental challenges of our time.”
This isn’t the first time Kianni has gotten a prominent platform for her environmental advocacy. Currently studying at Stanford University, she previously served on a Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change to the United Nations secretary-general, and a TED Talk she gave in 2021 has drawn over 2 million views.
The talk centered on the same topic at the heart of Climate Cardinals: the need for climate research an educational resources to be available in different languages.
Inspired by a visit to Iran when she was in middle school, Kianni founded Climate Cardinals in 2020 — the same year she graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, according to a Northern Virginia Magazine profile. The nonprofit’s reach is now international, with 10,000 volunteers in over 80 countries who can translate 100 languages.
I look forward to your contributions to the fight against climate change, Sophia. You make VA-11 proud!
— Rep. Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) November 16, 2023
“I am immensely proud to congratulate my constituent Sophia Kianni on her selection for the @EPA National Environmental Youth Advisory Council,” Connolly said in a tweet. “Sophia will serve our community and our nation as she provides advice and recommendations on climate concerns affecting America’s youth.”
In a graphic shared by Warner, Kianni said she was “excited to work alongside Administrator Regan and his incredible team to leverage intergenerational insights and innovation to work together for a more sustainable and equitable future.”
Glad to see the launch of this program to mobilize young people against one of the most pressing issues of our time – climate change. I’m particularly glad that Virginia will be represented by Sophia Kianni, a Vienna, Virginia native! https://t.co/zv3dYc6Ujq pic.twitter.com/esKaMrf9XO
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) November 16, 2023
The EPA announced in June that it would establish a youth advisory council, inviting older teens and young adults from around the country to apply for the 16 spots. At least half the seats were reserved for people from communities considered disadvantaged due to flood and wildfire risks, pollution, housing and transportation barriers, and other obstacles.
According to the EPA, the inaugural members were chosen from 1,000 applicants “to represent a variety of interests, lived experiences, partisan affiliation, and geographic locations.” They come from 13 different states and have backgrounds in issues from climate change and conservation to food security and workforce development.
NEYAC will meet at least two times every year, starting in 2024.
Good Wednesday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
Nearly two years after updating its vision for the future of McLean Central Park, the Fairfax County Park Authority is ready to start work on some of the planned upgrades….
After a soft opening in early February, Down the Line Sports Center will officially introduce itself to Fairfax City tomorrow (Thursday). The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting, followed by a meet-and-greet with six professional pickleball players visiting from around the country.
Restonians now have a chance to own a piece of their community’s history. Reston Museum, which is located at Lake Anne Plaza, will hold a raffle over the next month…
Dreaming of small-town charm with big-city convenience? Look no further than 7156 Main St in Clifton, Virginia! Nestled just 30 miles from the heart of Washington D.C., this picturesque property offers the best of both worlds.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city to find tranquility in this quaint, historic town. With its tree-lined streets and friendly community atmosphere, Clifton is the perfect place to call home. Yet, with its close proximity to the nation’s capital, you’ll never be far from the excitement and opportunities of urban living.
Imagine weekends exploring local shops, dining at charming cafes, and enjoying outdoor adventures in nearby parks. Then, commute to D.C. for work or play, soaking in all the culture, entertainment, and career opportunities the city has to offer.
Great Clips at South Lakes Village Center (Reston, Virginia) is seeking hair donors to participate in the Wigs for Kids program this Valentines Week. If you meet the minimum requirements and would like to donate your hair for children fighting cancer, we would love to host you in our salon this Valentine’s Week for a free haircut.
Hair donations must be a minimum of 12 inches
Hair donations must be clean and stored/packaged completely dry.
Hair donations cannot be permed, color-treated, or highlighted.
Temporary coloring or highlights that wash out are acceptable but must be completely washed out before cutting. Gray hair is accepted.
Participate in the 32nd Annual Van Metre 5K Run, a race that goes further than 3.1 miles, and every stride you take supports Children’s National Hospital. The Van Metre 5K Run donates 100% of proceeds to Children’s National Hospital and