Alumna transforms Midwest youth into agents of change
On January 20, 2017, at the moment of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, all federal climate change information and plans were scrubbed from the White House website. While this feels like an omen of turning back the clock on environmental progress, Nicole Rom is keeping the faith. She's the co-founder and executive director of Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that's worked for the past decade to build broad-based public support for climate action, clean energy policies, and clean air protections. "We are unified in our resolve to dig in and strengthen our work to meet the current challenge, knowing that our country and our state’s forward momentum on climate change solutions is now under threat," Rom said. "Periods of discord and tumult are challenging and stressful, but they also present opportunities. Principled, engaged opposition brings an opportunity for unity across organizations." Climate Generation is a bastion of education, youth leadership, and public engagement programs that reach from Minnesota around the world. The organization, which strategically supports and engages youth leaders and educators – who Rom considers critical agents of change, was recognized by the White House in 2014-15 for advancing climate literacy and climate change education. Rom also has worked closely with past Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, and current Democratic Governor Mark Dayton to pass aggressive carbon reduction goals and energy efficiency, renewable energy, and solar standards. Climate Generation is sustained by Rom’s vision, tenacity, and hard work. Her tireless dedication recently earned her recognition as a 40 Under 40 clean energy leader by Midwest Energy News, and she helps lead RE-AMP, a multi-state network of nonprofits and foundations that aims to reduce global warming pollution 80% by 2050.