Hayley Cashman is a Sophomore at Northeastern University majoring in Psychology and Spanish. She started her internship with Change is Simple in January 2017.
My first week at Change is Simple has shown me that working in an office doesn’t have to include the mundanities of a life in cubicles as my childhood imagination lead me to believe. In fact, there aren’t any cubicles here, but an open space allowing for collaboration, creative freedom, and hourly workouts. The openness and character of the office space reflects that of the staff; sharing ideas is encouraged, second opinions are valued, and creative thinking is a daily necessity. That is why what we do here has made the impact that it has. That is why at Goodyear Elementary School last Wednesday whispers of “Change Is Simple is here!” and “Patrick!” followed our crew into the classrooms. The lessons we bring into classrooms are built and taught by passionate, creative, driven, and intelligent people with a shared goal of educating children in fun and active ways. No wonder we received such a warm welcome at Goodyear, a welcome, I’ve heard, that follows the CiS team to every school we visit.
I left my first day of teaching feeling way too energetic for someone who got up at 5 AM. I taught three different lessons: ecosystems, wind energy, and food miles, to three different grades: 3rd, 4th, and 5th, and I should have been exhausted. But seeing a class of 20 kids looking that engaged and excited left me feeling giddy and hopeful. It had only been one day in the classroom and I already felt as though I was making an impact. How could I not be filled with hope when a bright kid exclaimed: “I wish I were Donald Trump so I could do something about deforestation!”
Needless to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first week interning here at Change is Simple. Not only have I learned about new ways to live sustainably day to day at home, but I have been filled with hope about inspiring others to do the same. Today’s turbulent political times have left many environmentalists grinding their teeth in nervous anticipation. It is easy to excuse yourself of blame, to say: ‘I am just one person’. But here I am, just one person, pushing for change and seeing progress. It will be a long and tumultuous journey towards change, but working here, at Change is Simple, is restoring my hope in a sustainable and responsible future.