Meet Lauren Johnson: Teacher, CLEAR Fellow & Change-Maker
After graduating from our 2019 CLEAR program, high-school chemistry teacher Lauren Johnson was so energized by what she learned that she decided to share that knowledge with her 6 classes. For her fellowship project, she created a three-part workshop to teach them about disaster preparedness and resilience. "Before CLEAR Miami, I was concerned about the physical and emotional effects of climate change, but did not know how to implement and affect change within my community," Johnson said. "CLEAR taught me that no voice is too small to affect change, which is how I was able to enact a hurricane disaster preparedness workshop to my 150 students through the CLEAR fellowship."
During the first workshop session, the students were visited by a renowned meteorologist from FIU, Erik Salna, who presented to all classes about hurricane science and disaster preparedness. Some students recognized him from TV!
During the second workshop session, Lauren brought in a guest from the American Red Cross, Kamalah Fletcher. Kamalah detailed her work in emergencies and helped the students analyze their individual communities through asset-mapping to determine if their community is ready for a hurricane.
The students also participated in a Resilience Circle, a group share moment where each student tossed a ball of yarn to each other as they shared stories of emergencies in their lives and how they overcame them. “The connections the yarn formed demonstrated that we all share similar stories, and when we stay connected, we can overcome anything,” said Lauren.
During the last hurricane workshop session, students conducted disaster preparedness skits and received kits to prepare them for emergencies.
Lauren did a phenomenal job creating an educational, fun curriculum and facilitating an open space for sharing and curiosity. Most importantly, 150 high-schoolers are now better equipped to handle emergencies and build resilience when they occur. "I am forever grateful for the resources and opportunities CLEAR Miami gave me," she said, "especially since it helped me realize my passion of the social impacts of climate change, which I am pursuing in graduate school this fall."