Volunteer Spotlight: Bea Acosta
By Katie Zakrzewski
After college, 22-year-old Beatriz “Bea” Acosta hoped to find an organization that would allow her to combine the fields that she loved most. An internship helped Bea realize that she loved public policy, as well as her major in biology. When her mother started to experience health problems as a result of smog exposure, Bea began to research ways to help. She found Citizens’ Climate Lobby while doing research, and felt that everything had finally come together.
In her spare time, Bea crochets and knits, in addition to reusing and recycling goods as much as possible, incorporating as much as she can into her latest projects. Today, Bea is located in District 13 in Illinois, and works as a CCL Conservative Fellow. Here’s our conversation:
What inspired you to get into climate advocacy?
I had been wanting to focus on climate because my mother lives in the mountains in Mexico City. The area where she lives is shaped like a bowl, and all of the smog in the mountains is contained within her city because of the geographical layout. My mother started to get allergic reactions when she went outside because of the pollution. She has stopped going outside but doesn’t want to move, so I wanted to help her however she can. When I realized that smog was the problem, I started researching organizations that might help.
How did you first get connected with CCL?
I’m a biology major, and my internship got canceled because of COVID. I took up another internship, which was in public policy and surveying people over the phone. I liked that because I was really surprised that what people had in mind was nowhere near what you see on the news. When that was over, I wanted to do something else regarding public policy and combine my biology major with that. I signed up for CCL three years ago because it was a blend of public policy, communicating with others, climate, and my degree.
What is it like being a Conservative Fellow?
Our caucus is young, and we have a plan to grow conservative outreach. We are working on resources to strategize how to retain our new members and help them grow their knowledge and develop their opinions on climate and carbon taxes. We want to get the word out through grassroots efforts and reach out to colleges to get our message out.
I think that I have been able to speak really well to conservatives because there are parallels between us all, even if my culture is different. I want to be able to redefine what it means to be a young conservative, and many people in the fellowship feel the same way. I want to be different from what the media says — I want to get people’s attention and partner with groups on all sides.
What keeps you motivated to do this work?
Right now, it’s my fellowship — I have a responsibility to them. Otherwise, it’s my family — they come from a very conservative cultural background. I think that there are other conservatives like me who care about the environment, which is a group of people that many don’t know exist. We want politicians to stop going against the other side, and to start taking action, because you can’t deny that there is an issue.
If you want to nominate a CCL volunteer for a possible feature, fill out our nomination form here.
Katie Zakrzewski is an avid reader, writer and policy wonk. With published pieces, as well as podcast and radio appearances spanning the country, Zakrzewski looks forward to using her talents to create a healthier planet of tomorrow.