Sarah Pendergast (BA '10) to attend United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Sarah Pendergast (BA '10) has been selected as one of 25 youth delegates to participate in the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from June 20-22. The conference will readdress issues and commitments brought up at the 1992 Earth Summit in the same city. Pendergast will attend as an "Agent of Change" through SustainUS, an environmental justice non-profit run entirely by youth and volunteers.
Pendergast was a member of the steering committee of the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition as an undergraduate, and studied environmental and sustainable development policy at the Ford School. She worked as an intern in the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming in Washington, D.C. After graduating from the Ford School, Pendergast was a Teach for America corps member and now teaches high school math outside of New Orleans. She has written that part of her motivation for participating in the conference comes from her experience teaching high school, both because many of her students suffer from health problems like asthma that arise from environmental issues, and because she feels she can apply what she learns in Rio de Janeiro to her teaching in Louisiana.
SustainUS focuses on putting youth in a position to affect policy through established channels. Pendergast was selected along with the other youth delegates through a competitive process organized by SustainUS's Agents of Change program, the branch of the organization that focuses on placing youth delegations at conferences and summits like Rio+20. The delegates range from 18-26 years old.