Most Interesting People 2012: Erin Huber

Erin huber

director of drink local. drink tap., 29

/ Why she’s interesting / As an undergrad at Cleveland State University, Huber and another student helped design a rooftop garden on the school’s recreation center that will extend the life of the roof by 40 years. Huber has gone on to found Drink Local. Drink Tap., a nonprofit that focuses on water sustainability, not only in Cleveland, but globally.

/ The Cleveland impact / Huber’s Drink Local. Drink Tap. conducts monthly beach cleanups at Edgewater Park. “We want to reconnect people with our lake.”

/ The global impact / Earlier this year, Huber traveled to Africa, something she’s wanted to do all her life, with a photographer and a filmmaker when she discovered that children in Uganda have little to no water. “I’m like, ‘What? No water?’ That week I started designing a project. They’re going to have water, period.”

/ The amateur auteur / Huber plans to return to Uganda to finish filming the documentary that she hopes to have ready for the 2013 Cleveland International Film Festival. “I’m reaching out to different people. I want people to wake the heck up.”

/ Water works / Twice a day, children from the village that Huber visited carry yellow “jugs” (the largest of them can hold 20 liters) to the nearest water source, fill them up and walk more than two miles home. “The first day I carried one, my arms were shaking. But I couldn’t set it down. These kids do this every day — I can’t let them down.”

/ Light at the bottom of a borehole / Huber plans to break ground on a new water source much closer to the village this month. It will give the children more opportunities to go to school. “If one of these children comes out of the school and does something powerful with their life, I would be ecstatic.”

/ All you need is love / Huber’s father died when she was 12, but she still remembers the wisdom he imparted to her. “He always taught me to fight for things that can’t fight for themselves.”

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