“The lesson that stuck with me the longest, is that we all have the same 24 hours and what we do with it makes the difference. For me, living well in a place has come to mean taking the environment for what it is and trying to make it what it could be, for potential does not solely live in people, but in places as well.” – Ashawnté Russell F16

While Ashawnté’s Island School Semester was unfortunately cut short, it still left a lasting impact on her more than 6 years later. Her experience has led her to advocate for action against climate change in The Bahamas as she pursues her studies in Biochemistry at the University of The Bahamas.

Climate Change Youth Ambassadors meet at The Bahamas Office Of The Prime Minister, Hon Philip “Brave” Davis

Over the past year, she has represented The Bahamas in numerous ways, most notably by being selected to represent and present at COP27 in Egypt under the Youth Delegation of the Office of The Prime Minister of The Bahamas. She was also the sole participant from the Caribbean Community at the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) Hackathon in Bonn, Germany in September 2022. Both are efforts of UN Climate Change, the entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change. 

Most recently, Ashawnté has been named as a Youth Climate Ambassador for The Bahamas, representing the Climate Change & Environmental Advisory Unit under the Office of the Prime Minister. She was selected as one of two Ambassadors for the 2023-2024 year, following in the footsteps of Island School alum, Bradley Watson F08, who was an Ambassador for the 2022-2023 year. We can’t wait to see how Ashawnté will continue to inspire the youth of The Bahamas to take action against climate change.