Meet our new interns: Claire Wang & Kelsey Oliver

We’re happy to host two new interns this summer. Claire Wang and Kelsey Oliver are seniors at Rowland Hall High School with interests in the environment. Both Claire and Kelsey will be blogging for us periodically throughout the summer. Get to know them by checking out the Q&As below.

Meet Claire Wang

Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Claire Wang and I’m excited to work with Alliance for a Better UTAH for the summer. I will be a senior at Rowland Hall this fall, and my primary interest is in securing a more sustainable future for Utah by promoting the adoption of clean energy.

Q. What are you most passionate about?

I’ve always been passionate about the environment. Even when I was in elementary school and was barely able to comprehend the workings of the ecosystem, I would read books about endangered species, pollution, and climate change and would rally my friends to pick up litter in parks. Since then, I’ve become more directly involved in advancing sustainable practices at my school by writing articles in the school newspaper and encouraging other students to reduce waste and to recycle. I also volunteer with Utah Clean Energy, a nonprofit clean energy advocacy group. I believe that one of the best ways to attain long-term sustainability is to invest in alternative energy sources in order to offset carbon emissions from fossil fuels. This practice, combined with other policies that would maximize energy efficiency, would secure the cleanliness of energy at its source – energy production – rather than be enforced at each point at which energy is consumed.

Q. When you’re not working on environmental issues, how else do you spend your time?

Beyond my interests in environmental policy, I also am a captain on my school’s nationally ranked debate team. I travel around the country debating about issues ranging from space exploration to transportation infrastructure to Latin American policy. I also volunteer teaching special education at Highland Park Elementary, and I know American Sign Language at a conversational level.

Q. What are some of your personal goals?

My primary goal in my life, cliché as it may sound, is to be able to enact widespread change that will secure a better future for society. I hope that my experience with Alliance for a Better UTAH will help me on that path.

Meet Kelsey Oliver

Q. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Kelsey Oliver and I’m a high school student interning with Alliance for a Better UTAH. I’ll be a senior at Rowland Hall High School in September.

Q. What are you most passionate about?

Over the course of my high school years, I’ve come to love Environmental Studies. Last year, I took an Environmental Science class and became one of the co-presidents of our school’s Environmental Club. Our Environmental Club even had the opportunity to partner with SUWA (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance) and visit the Greater Canyonlands Area, which includes the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers. There, our group saw how destructive drilling and development can be to unprotected wilderness. I’ve also worked closely with Save Our Canyons for about a year now, participating in their volunteering, interning, and ambassador programs, as well as becoming a founder for an environmental youth group called SOCK (Save Our Canyons Kids).

Q. What are some of your goals for your internship experience?

Although I’ve been exposed to many environmental organizations and their mission statements, I want to become more involved in policy surrounding environmental issues in Utah. It’s crucial for people to gain a better understanding of wildlife around them to preserve and protect the natural environment for future generations. I’ve also become interested in issues surrounding education, and I know that this internship will be a great opportunity to experience state legislature in all areas.

Q. What would you like to do after you graduate from high school?

As I think about my college career and the rest of my future, some majors that I might want to pursue include Political Science, International Relations, and Environmental Science or Analysis. This internship will help guide me toward these paths, and I can gain a better knowledge of what these studies entail. I know Alliance for a Better Utah is an impactful and reliable organization, and I’m looking forward to becoming a part of their group!


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