Virginia Tech® home

Rachel Spector

Rachel Spector
Rachel Spector

A glimpse at Rachel Spector’s ExperienceVT Map gives one insight into her drive to make the world a better place through climate justice.

Rachel said, “In the face of climate catastrophe, it is more important than ever that we build a youth movement equipped with the tools to combat it.”

With a major in Environmental Conservation and Society and minors in Sustainable Natural Environments and Leadership and Social Change, Rachel is doing just that. She organized the 2019 Blacksburg Climate Strike, co-founded Virginia Tech for Climate Justice, and worked with the Virginia Tech Administration to rewrite the outdated 2009 Climate Action Commitment.

She said, “I felt like I was doing what I was meant to do -- organize, inspire, and educate people about the crisis we face. After feeling alone for so long, it was surreal to have finally found my people.”

For Rachel, courageous leadership means “stepping outside of your comfort zone to raise you voice against an unjust system. It means breaking social norms and not being afraid to be controversial in order to fight for justice. It means seeing a problem and being motivated to do something about it.”

Rachel’s nominator said, “By recognizing the climate crisis and doing something about it, she has demonstrated she is not satisfied with the status quo, and is willing to speak up in pursuit of a more humane and just world.”

We couldn’t agree more. I am honored to present the Aspire! Award for COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP to Rachel Spector.