Three friends from Lexington, Massachusetts — Lily Georgeopoulos, Alice Van Evera and Mari McBride — have known each other since they were toddlers. When they turned nine, they became determined to join forces to fight climate change. “Working as a team gives you much more courage than if you’re just working as an individual,” McBride says in the film Save Tomorrow. “If you’re alone, it’s always scary,” Of the trio, she says, “We’re all doers.”
When the girls started learning about climate change they were overcome by despair. Then they saw the Young Voices for the Planet films. Hearing the stories of kids making a difference made them realize: We could do that, too.
They found a focus for their goal– the public buildings in their town weren’t allowed to be solarized. Fast forward and the girls were speaking at a town meeting. “At first we were a little bit scared,” McBride says in the film. “These were a bunch of grown-ups. They run the world.” Upon hearing the outcome of the vote on their proposal — it passed unanimously — McBride’s reaction, “We weren’t just helpless little girls.”
“These nine-year-old girls, were instrumental in overturning a piece of legislation in their town,” Founder, Director and Executive Producer of Save Tomorrow, Lynne Cherry, tells Parentology.
“Success made them unstoppable.”
Buoyed by their victory, the friends were ready to take on a new mission. Word hit that a local forest was being ripped down. It was time to take action again. They started a petition, which was presented to the Lexington Conservation Commission. They prevailed once again, this time saving the woods.
The conclusion they’ve drawn from achieving so many wins? It’s all based on motivation — kids take on these fights because it’s the right thing to do, versus adults, who do it for the money.
Next on their list was getting solar panels, which reduce CO2 emissions, installed on their new school, Joseph Estabrook School. “Our whole school would be helping save the world,” McBride says.
The young ladies, who are now 11, have messages for other kids who might be facing fears when it comes to speaking out about causes about which they feel passionate. “We need to go out there and take a risk to make a difference,” Van Evera says in the film
Directives from McBride that resonate:
“Find your team. Find your passion. Find your power.”
*See the entire Words Have Power film at Young Voices for the Planet.