Graphic design student Yana Pietras launched Students for Cinque Terre (S5T) this spring after her semester abroad in Italy. Vernazza and Monterosso, two of the five villages in the Cinque Terre region, were devastated by flooding. In October 2011, Vernazza and Monterosso were buried under mudslides and suffered massive infrastructure damage. "I wanted to do something to help the towns, the people and the territory of this place I had grown to love so much," said Pietras in a recent interview.
S5T is a student support organization, founded with help from the non-profit Save Vernazza, that wants to help rebuild, restore, and preserve the territory for future generations. The group is selling buttons with the number "5" to represent the number of towns in the Cinque Terre. "I know from being a student that we have enough trouble being able to afford our own rent," wrote Pietras on the S5T Facebook page, "but by purchasing a button or a poster 100% of the proceeds will go towards rebuilding and restoring the Cinque Terre."