The transition from Spring to Summer, another time of change that we must accept and embrace. This month we are excited to honor two of our illustrious interns who have been with us for the entire 2021-2022 academic year, coming to us from Denver University’s Graduate Program in Social Work. Katessia Robertson and Mason Smith have both been tremendous additions to our team this year, and have truly stepped up to be climate heroes in so many ways.

Mason Smith 

Mason Smith

Mason began interning with 350 Colorado in September 2021. Given her interest in child welfare, policy, and social work, she interned with our Movement Building & Volunteer Director Chelsea. Also new in the position, Chelsea was incredibly thankful for the support that Mason was able to immediately provide. From researching, to helping build a virtual volunteer orientation session, the first few months of her internship were busy with various volunteer management projects. 

As a part of her social work focuses, in 2022 Mason began conducting interviews with young people about their experiences with mental health as it relates to climate change. With youth campaign work being spurred on in the organization by the inspirational messages of the new documentary ‘Youth v Gov’ Mason was able to support youth leaders that were looking to participate. 

She helped lead a section of the Youth Climate Lobby training that was held on March 6th (which featured two state legislators!), encouraging youth to raise their voice in the legislative process and make their voices heard. She also attended 350O’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) workshop, which built upon her knowledge in social work. And most recently, she presented the findings of her youth wellness study at the Youth Action Committee meeting a few weeks ago! 

“I’m so thrilled to see how Mason has grown these last months. Organizing is not always easy or straightforward, and there can be times when it might even be uncomfortable, but Mason worked through that and grew so much,” said Chelsea Alexander, 350CO’s Volunteer & Movement Building Director. “Those things are all a part of the journey, and I know Mason will continue to do great things.”  

The photo of Mason is from the March for Science in 2017, when she went to advocate for science and for our planet in the middle of getting ready for her senior prom, with half-done hair. 

“Climate change affects everyone, but especially people who hold marginalized identities or otherwise vulnerable populations,” says Mason. “I believe it is essential to continue to speak up in the face of injustices as we work to advocate for every person, every species, and our planet.”

Mason is graduating from Denver University’s Graduate School of Social Work with a Master’s in Social Work in mid-June. She will still carry with her a passion to advocate for climate justice! 

Thank you Mason for all the hard work, insight, support, and dedication these last nine months! We wish you all the best in this next chapter. 

Katessia Robertson

Katessia Robertson

Katessia joined 350 CO as an intern in September of 2021, coming to us from Denver University’s Graduate School of Social Work, where they are concentrating in Ecological Justice. Katessia is a youth advocate, student, and small business owner who moved to Colorado last year from Indianapolis, Indiana.

Since joining 350 Colorado, Katessia has focused on building skills in organizational leadership and has contributed to working for climate justice in so many ways. She began the year giving feedback to corporations via the Hundred X campaign, calling for stronger climate leadership and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. In December, she brought her expertise and knowledge about the negative impacts of the fast fashion industry to our community, publishing an article on the cyclical and disposable nature of the fast fashion industry, which explores the fast fashion industry, the cycles of pollution it perpetuates, and how to be a more conscious consumer.

Katessia has been instrumental in supporting 350 Colorado’s Climate Legislative and Action Committee, including playing a key role in organizing Climate Lobby Week and Climate Lobby Trainings, and playing a leadership role when leadership was most needed.

“Katessia has been a truly valuable member of our team, and has been willing to step up and step in regardless of the situation. They are always willing to lend a hand and contribute in meaningful ways,” shared Deb McNamara, 350CO’s Communications & Development Director. “Katessia also brings deep thoughtfulness and reflectiveness to all she does. She asks the questions that need to be asked, and is willing to take risks and try new things. Katessia will be so missed by all of us.”

In addition to supporting legislative work, Katessia has also been facilitating Colorado Public Banking Coalition calls, supporting our work to advance public banking in our state. She has supported multiple events, including webinars on public banking as a key solution in Colorado and a series of webinars on water pollution and the role the oil and gas industry plays.

A key area of focus has been to raise awareness around oil and gas development in Colorado, helping to track proposed fracking projects and creating a Colorado Oil and Gas Public Comment Toolkit for people to offer public comment opposing oil and gas projects in their communities. They recently provided public comment at a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission public hearing, where Katessia read a formal letter to the COGCC calling for stronger protections of our communities and stronger action addressing the cumulative and climate impacts of oil and gas development in our state.

Katessia has recruited numerous letters to the editor and opinion pieces focused on climate issues during her tenure, taking a primary lead on our letters to the editor campaign. She has also been using her voice and has had several opinion pieces published in outlets such as Colorado Politics and The Sentinel Colorado.

In the future, Katessia wants to use their social work degree to fight against the harm the fast fashion industry causes to people and the earth. She spends her free time exploring Colorado, thrifting, playing board games, and spending time with friends. Their small business sells secondhand clothes called “The Clothing Cycle” and we invite you to check it out!

We will truly miss Katessia’s many contributions, and most importantly her presence. They truly embody the spirit of a climate hero, dedicated to working for justice in all its forms.

Want to be our next Climate Hero of the month? Join us as a volunteer by emailing