Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez introduced herself to some of her younger constituents in her newly redrawn district that now includes a large part of western Queens. Velázquez visited William Cullen Bryant High School in Long Island City on Feb. 17 to announce the expansion of climate and sustainability education through new state-of-the-art hydroponic farms at 20 schools in Queens and Brooklyn.

“Greenhouse hydroponic farming is not only a financially wise investment, with excellent educational returns, but will also create a sound foundation in young students of self-sufficiency, respect for the environment and a desire for healthy living and nutrition,” Velázquez said. “I want to make sure that we have the resources to be able to empower our teachers to do what they do best, teaching you, and that you have the quality education that the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world should provide. You deserve that.”

She secured $800,000 in federal programming to enhance STEM education at the 20 schools to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about local food production, healthy eating, climate, and sustainability.”

“We all know that the greatest threat that we face is an existential one, and that is climate change,” Velázquez said. “And so we want to empower everyone with knowledge as to what it is that we can collectively do.”