Intern, Carbon Leadership Forum
Delilah is a current junior at the University of Washington pursuing a degree in Architecture. Her interest in the Carbon Leadership Forum stems from her motivation to create better living spaces for those experiencing housing insecurity, while focusing on tackling the issues on social and environmental issues in the Built Environment.
by Delilah Canales
I grew up in in the small agricultural and farming town of Wapato in central Washington. Wapato has a predominantly Hispanic population, but does not lack for diversity. My values of social and environmental justice were formed by my life there, and I better understood those values as I grew up. I first left Wapato a couple of years ago, moving to Seattle to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the University of Washington. My passion for architecture stems from my own experience of housing insecurity as well as seeing many others in my community face a housing crisis. I want to be able to give back to all those in my community. I want everybody to be able to afford good housing, to be able to call a building their home.
My first introduction to the carbon challenge was in my high school science classes, but I didn’t get the comprehensive understanding I would need. I knew carbon emissions are harmful for our environment and contribute to climate change, but what I learned in school mainly concerned carbon emissions associated with transportation, cars, buses, etc., burning fossil fuels for electricity, and deforestation.
My time here at the University of Washington has helped me understand the importance of my future career and learn how I can best be of service, and I first learned about Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) and its mission after becoming a student at the University.
Through my internship at the CLF, I hope to better understand how to reduce embodied carbon in the built environment and learn what I can do to address the climate crisis so I can prepare to be a future leader in the built environment. Working with Professor Kate Simonen has been a great experience, I also look forward to working with my coworkers, Vivi and Zing. Together, we can understand our importance as a generation, contributing to the essential changes needed to protect our future and our environment. We shouldn’t have to worry about whether future generations will be able to survive on a damaged planet!
It’s a privilege for me to be part of this movement to decarbonize the built environment, and I want to absorb as much information and experience as I can as a CLF intern. I believe my identity as a young person with the passion to create a better environment for future generations can also benefit the mission of CLF.