by Robin Bosworth ’24
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
Anne Frank’s diary includes these words that offer a sense of hope for the impact we can and should make without waiting years to start.
On Friday, October 29, The Leffell School will host its annual Yom Iyun, a day dedicated to a specific area of learning. This year’s topic is environmental sustainability, which was chosen due to its relevance in today’s world and how it is not taught in most classes.
The process of organizing this year’s Yom Iyun was led by a group of seniors, including executive directors Drew Wilenzick and Avi Katzen, directors Elijah Wiseman and Talia Raich and assistant directors Elle Schanzer and Daren Amona. The committee was formed during spring 2021.
“We began talking about planning a Yom Iyun while it was still a little while away,” Katzen said. “We started brainstorming themes and we came up with sustainability and the environment and then we went from there.”
One aspect of Yom Iyun that the team valued was to have as many live components of the day. Last year, all of the programming was on Zoom due to the Covid restrictions in place at the time. However, this year, the group believed an in-person day could be more interactive and engaging.
“One very positive difference between this year and last year’s Yom Iyuns is that we are going to be having the keynote address and corporate panel with the entire school and that will be very beneficial to a lot of people,” Wilenzick said. “The whole school [and eighth grade] will be in the gym together for the first time in over a year, which is very exciting.”
Through connections, research and cold calling major local organizations, the Sustainability Summit Team put together a group of speakers and panelists to present to the student body. Some speakers include the keynote address which will be given by Harriet Shugarman, the Executive Director of Climate Mama.
“She will be addressing students about the importance of climate change, how students should talk to their parents about climate change, and how they can become empowered to make changes in their daily lives,” Vivian Nadasdi, Sustainability Summit faculty advisor and Science Department Chair, said.
To conclude the day, there will be a panel titled “Climate Change From a Corporate Lense”, which will include panelists from Mastercard, Gemini Green and Pepsico. In addition to the opening speaker and panel, students will be allowed to choose different presentations throughout the day, allowing the students to explore their areas of interest more greatly.
“Something we are really excited about with this year’s Yom Iyun is that people will have options for what they want to learn about which makes it kind of customizable,” Wilenzick said. “I think students will buy into the day more because of that.”