My Climate Story 2024 — A Year of Growth

June 27, 2024

2024 was a year of growth and impact for My Climate Story (MCS). Initiated on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, the project expanded to engage college communities across North America, encouraging them to share their experiences and reflect on how they speak to a need for increased climate literacy and action in the face of global climate change. 

Reflecting on the year's progress, we are reminded of the power of storytelling to build resilience and inspire action amidst ongoing climate change.


New Voices and Perspectives: MCS Campus Correspondents

In January, MCS broadened its efforts to personalize climate change across North America via the “Campus Correspondents” program. An open call for applications was issued to colleges all over the continent, and 12 passionate and inspiring students were selected from a large pool. 

The Correspondents, hailing from campuses from Arizona to upstate New York and from British Columbia to Puerto Rico, participated in a series of four virtual training sessions. These were designed and led by the 2023-24 MCS team: PPEH founding director Bethany Wiggin, MCS public research interns Maria Villarreal Simon and Faith Bochert, PPEH program coordinator Megan Pollin Hernandez, and PPEH research assistant Molly Treangen. These sessions equipped the Correspondents with the skills to effectively engage their communities about climate change and to empower them to confidently articulate their community stories.

An illustrated map showing the locations of the 12 universities attended by the Campus Correspondents.

The Campus Correspondents hailed from Universities spanning North America.

Growing Outreach: Gathering Climate Stories

The Correspondents spent the spring conducting interviews on campus. The stories they collected and shared on MCS's Instagram and Tik Tok channels, captured a wide range of powerful emotions and poignant experiences. Garnering over 26,000 views on the project's social media channels, these narratives gave voice to personal experiences of climate change and highlighted how these stories intersect and corroborate one another.

“These conversations foster a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness between individual experiences and global climate issues. I believe that raising awareness in this way and fostering a culture of environmental stewardship can drive positive change.” 

- Georgia Myles, University of Victoria, 2024 Campus Correspondent

Hand written style text reads "Campus Correspondents By the Numbers," with the MCS logo and leaf illustrations.

Click here to watch "MCS By The Numbers!"

Expanding the Data: Linking Narratives with Climate Patterns

The narrative climate data gathered by MCS becomes increasingly impactful as it grows, serving as a powerful tool to illustrate the effects of changing climate patterns. This narrative data is directly related to climate attribution science, providing valuable context and illustrating personal insights. Among the 93 stories compiled by the Correspondents, recurring themes included wildfires, drought, hurricanes, and a noticeable lack of snow in areas where it was once commonplace. 

Across the many interviews conducted by the Correspondents, participants share their gratitude in being given the opportunity to share their experiences and report finding solace in being able to do so. Climate storytelling offers a powerful first step to help grapple with the personal dimensions of global heating and then to take meaningful action to curtail it.

Beyond the Numbers: Why We Collect Climate Stories

Ultimately, the reason we collect Climate Stories goes beyond numbers; it's about people. These personal accounts highlight the human aspect of climate change, reminding us that behind every statistic, there is a person, a community, and a lived experience. 

As we look forward to the future, we remain committed to amplifying these stories and fostering a deeper understanding of the human impact of climate change!

Text "why do you share climate stories" over an image of a lake.

Click here to watch "why we share climate stories" on the MCS Instagram!