Meredith Adler, 29
Life Story: After going to Argentina as an exchange student at 18, Nevada native Meredith Adler realized she wanted to work internationally. That brought her to B.C., where a BA in human geography at UBC led to an interest in energy issues and ultimately a communications assistant position at Vancouver-based think tank Clean Energy Canada. Within a couple of years she became community manager, then executive director of Student Energy, a not-for-profit that encourages youth involvement in the field.
In January 2018, Adler, who lives in Squamish and commutes to Vancouver a few days a week, launched Student Energy Chapters to teach university-level students and clubs to take action in any way their communities need, from holding information sessions to installing solar panels. Next up is the online Student Energy Leaders Fellowship program, starting in September, to provide skill-building and mentorship to students around the world. Participants will get expert advice in areas ranging from finance to building an energy system, receive hands-on coaching and complete a practicum project in a team.
Bottom Line: With four full-time staff, Student Energy has 50,000 members in more than 130 countries, and its energy literacy platform reaches three million people a year. The annual budget has grown from $288,000 in 2015 to almost $1 million. Student Energy Chapters has 30 chapters in 10 countries.