United World College
United World College-USA’s Sustainability & Safety Manager has called our campus to action around a key challenge: What if we could rehydrate New Mexico soils, use our campus as a carbon sink, increase our protection against forest fires and help reverse global warming? UWC-USA, whose mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future, accepted this challenge and embarked on an ambitious journey toward carbon neutrality by 2032. Our high school in Montezuma, known for thought leadership and community service, is home to 230 young changemakers from over 90 countries, several from New Mexico. Experiential learning is a hallmark of our Agroecology Research Center, which teaches traditional farming methods with an option to earn an internationally recognized permaculture certificate. We are now turning our campus into a pollinator garden, Monarch waystation and food forest, using an ancient farming technique called Zei Pits. Students have already dug many holes into the compacted hardened soil, filled them with compost to allow water and nutrients to be absorbed by the soil, allowing plants and trees to grow and withstand droughts. An anchor institution, UWC-USA actively collaborates with schools and organizations in Northern New Mexico. We seek to broaden our partnerships by convening youth and adults from local counties to share our new butterfly gardens and encourage sustainable lifestyles and build community by hosting hands-on teaching and learning events. Our goal is to do our part by sharing the kind of resources that allow us to provide a unique, diverse, and transformative educational experience for our students with an ever-growing collective of community members in Northern New Mexico. At the same time, our students and staff want to learn from our community’s expertise. UWC-USA envisions itself engaging more with partners across our region in a concerted effort to reverse global warming.