“One of my future goals is to make Meatless Monday district-wide,” explains Danielle Moskowitz. “The program would be great for younger kids in the elementary and middle schools.”
Like many Meatless Monday proponents, Moskowitz is often thinking at the macro level. She leverages a growing network of contacts to implement the initiative wherever she can. Her contacts include school administrators, faculty, staff, parents and peers. And like other self-starters, she can charm and glad-hand with the best of them.
There’s just one difference. Danielle Moskowitz is 16 years old.
A junior at Pleasantville High School in Westchester, NY, Moskowitz is single-handedly responsible for launching Meatless Monday into her school.
“I submitted a proposal to our Superintendent of Schools and High School Principal over the summer, explaining what Meatless Monday is all about, why it was important for our school to participate, and how we could integrate it into other programs at the school.”
It didn’t happen overnight; Moskowitz discovered that even great ideas have to be fought for. But through her dogged determination she prevailed. Principal Daniel McCann and Superintendent of Schools Mary Fox-Alter both gave their approval for a Meatless Monday program on the condition that Moskowitz coordinate with the cafeteria staff and student council.
Throughout the fall, she helped orchestrate the implementation, working with food services staff and keeping the student body informed with regular presentations. Moskowitz says she has also been invited by Fox-Alter to talk about Meatless Monday at a school board meeting, and she hopes to deliver a presentation to the elementary and middle school administrations this spring.
In the meantime, however, there are the more quotidian aspects of junior year to consider. Moskowitz is currently on the college search, which she finds both exhausting and exciting. Will existing Meatless Monday programs factor into her decision? “Absolutely,” she says. “And if I end up at a school that doesn’t have one, I’ll just make sure to start it myself.”