Nominated by Kathleen Williams


In 2015, a bond was passed to expand Claire Vlases’ school, Sacajawea Middle School in Bozeman. When she was 13, she hatched the idea to make solar energy part of the renovation project. Her mission was to get a 50kW solar powered electrical system for the school, the maximum allowed. At first, she was told this idea was too ambitious because of high monetary estimates. As more people became interested in the idea, the cost decreased to $110,000. With smiles, grit, and passion, she worked through challenges. Nothing could have been possible without the support of her amazing community. She raised over $126,000, achieving our goals. Her vision is to have Solar Makes Sense set an example everywhere, and create a movement among youth to ignite their inner spark. She hopes that this project sends a message to her community that anyone can stand for what they believe in to make a difference.

Purchase tickets today to celebrate with Claire at the Williams' Effect 25 Under 25 Award Ceremony Helena on September 9th