Cole Norgaarden

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Cole is a sophomore majoring in Urban & Regional Studies and minoring in Inequality Studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Originally from Wayzata, Minnesota, he began engaging in activism around environmental issues in middle school, later taking on leadership roles at Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN), a program of the Will Steger Foundation that provides a network for high school students working on sustainability across the Twin Cities area. He has previously traveled to both Japan and Bangladesh, where he explored the environmental impacts of global climate change while participating in the state-sponsored American Youth Leadership Program with World Savvy. Recently, Cole has become involved in fossil fuel divestment and labor action initiatives on campus at Cornell, including a successful campaign to cut university ties with manufacturers that failed to sign the Accord on Building and Fire Safety in Bangladesh. In addition to being a student, Cole is an ambassador for the College of Architecture, Art, & Planning and serves on the World Savvy Alumni Advisory Board. He is looking forward to returning to Asia to work on issues of environmental justice and planning next semester at the Nilgiris Field Learning Center in Kotagiri, Tamil Nadu, India.