Across Continents: Sakshi Sitesh
Sakshi Sitesh Srivastav is currently living in Chandigarh, India, but that hasn’t stopped her from working for a company that fights climate change half a world away.
This summer Sakshi landed a position as a strategic marketing and communications intern for 10Power, a company in Haiti that works with local partners to develop and finance commercial-scale solar projects.
Sakshi came to the opportunity through the Global Warming Mitigation Project’s (GWMP) Constellations program. The program, which launched this summer, connects students with virtual, remote positions at important organizations that fight global warming.
Her role this summer was to come up with engaging posts for 10Power’s various social media platforms. She was also responsible for being the bridge between the company's ideologies, achievements and its stakeholders, many of whom happened to be investors or potential investors. Her work made an impression on the company’s founder.
“The highlight of my internship was when our founder, Sandra, told me that one of the board members reached out to her and told her how well the social media is being maintained and she laughed while saying she hardly has to worry about what's going on with social media anymore because I was handling everything pretty well. That was certainly a highlight!”
Beyond being recognized for her contributions, Sakshi doesn’t hesitate to point out the personal growth benefits she’s received from her Constellations internship.
“Through this internship I have become a better team player who can empower others and learned that I am a self-starter. It was Sandra's faith in the work that I was doing that allowed me to explore my creativity and she would always encourage it. Values like that are bound to leave a mark on impressionable minds. It was a very fulfilling experience.”
So what made Sakshi seek out a position in the sustainability field? She attributes her passion for climate change action to her experiences growing up in India. While the country is one of the hardest hit by climate change, many just adapt while foregoing making important changes.
“One of the most palpable effects of climate change that I personally have felt is the rise in temperatures and the extremities between winter and summer. India, being a country of diverse terrain, experiences more seasonal variations than other parts of the world. I remember temperatures during the peak of summers some twenty years ago being not more than 35°C (95°F). This June, the temperatures went as high as 46°C (114.8°F). And humans kept adapting to these new highs. 35°C was as bothersome as the present day 46°C and yet we didn't do anything in the process to make it any better.”
At a young age Sakshi was introduced to solutions that could make a real impact. Her passion for action only grew as she went on to college and pursued an education in media.
“My middle school put a lot of emphasis on recycling, planting trees, and separating waste before throwing it away. These were values that were instilled in me from a very young age.
Moving on to university and college, being a media major and seeing through the discrepancies in government's promises and their implementation made me really wary of their priorities.”
Today Sakshi urges others to invest in climate change and to take global warming seriously.
“We are living in an era of extreme temperatures, forest fires, cyclones, storms, flooding and landslides. We need to make sure that we can live a healthy life on this planet and we need to make sure we leave a similar planet for our future generations.”