Blue Ridge Discovery Center sponsored Grayson County High School students Alex and Vincent Benish to attend the 2014 National Environmental Summit for High School Students at Catawba College in Salisbury, NC.
The summit, titled "Redefining our future", was organized by two leading organizations - the Center for the Environment at Catawba College and Rocky Mountain Institute. Together they provided this opportunity for young environmental leaders to learn, create, share, interact, grow, connect, and build relationships.
The four day event featured multiple focus groups including topics like invasive species, world heritage, conservation, tools for change and others. Highlighting the summit was keynote speaker Robin Emmons, a 2013 Top 10 CNN Hero who has been praised for her work to alleviate nutritional starvation in low-income communities through gardening and micro-farming.
Alex and Vincent had the privilege to stay in Abernathy Village, a complex of five residence halls which are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. The majority of programming occurred on Catawba's 189-acre ecological preserve and in the labs and classrooms of the Center for the Environment's green facility.