Alumna to bear the Olympic Torch

By Chloe Lister

Alison Lerner ’09 will carry the Olympic Flame through Calgary, Canada Jan. 18 and 19, as a torchbearer for the 2010 winter Olypics in Vancouver.

Lerner was chosen by The Coca-Cola Company to be a torchbearer. She was one of 20 people chosen for helping enact changes in local and global communities, 10 of whom are teenagers.

Lerner wrote the children’s book, “The Green Street Kids: The Earth Warriors” as “a fun way to educate young children about saving our planet by establishing sustainable lifestyles,” she said.

“I’ve had a passion for the environment since I was a young child and I’ve been relentless in trying to evoke change through my earth saving efforts,” Lerner said. “I am so humbled by this honor, and so proud that I have been recognized for making a difference in peoples’ lives.”

The book was published in 2008 when Lerner was a senior at Harvard-Westlake. Lerner hopes to promote global change by instilling earth-saving habits, such as reducing, reusing and recycling, in young children.

“Children are the hope for our future and my inspiration,” Lerner said.

“I’m very hopeful that my book will receive more widespread exposure through Coca-Cola’s [torchbearing campaign] to encourage children to make small changes in their lives to help the environmental effort,” she said.

Of the 45,000 kilometers the torch will travel, Lerner will carry it 400 meters, to the next selected activist.

The torch run will end in Vancouver on Feb 12.

“I’m still in shock that I have been chosen to be an Olympic torchbearer,” Lerner said. “To be one of 10 teenagers chosen from many thousands of nominations is such an honor.

“If I can influence just one person to make a small change, and they in turn influence another person who influences another person, soon we have a community working together,” Lerner said.