The Will Steger Foundation is honored to be a recipient of 2013 Hennepin County Green Partners Environmental Education Program funding to expand and deepen our Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN) program. Hennepin County provides funding and support to organizations to implement projects that empower residents to reduce waste, increase recycling, reduce toxicity, conserve energy and protect water quality.
This fall the Will Steger Foundation brought 17 high schoolers to Power Shift 2013 through our Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN) program. A national youth climate conference that drew over 6,000 to Pittsburgh, PA, Power Shift 2013 was a historic convergence to “build a stronger and more vibrant climate movement to fight fracking, divest from fossil fuels, demand climate justice, and build a clean energy economy that works for everyone.”
Hello, our names are Sophia Showalter and Elayna Shapiro, and we are Steering Committee members for Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN), a program of the Will Steger Foundation, and both students at Hopkins High School. Last weekend, we had the amazing opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh to attend Power Shift, a youth environmental conference that brought over 6,000 people together for four days of workshops, speeches, and direct action.
This has been a fantastic year for the YEA! MN steering committee! Not only did our students excel in statewide organizing by bringing over 100 youth to the Youth March for Climate Action Now, and over 70 youth to our Lobby Day in the winter, they also found time to organize more locally in their schools and communities.
The Will Steger Foundation’s YEA! MN program played a significant role at the Minnesota State Capitol on Earth Day this year as part of the Clean Energy and Jobs Campaign Day of Action. YEA! MN student leaders turned out 100 high school students in the rain and for the Young People's March for Climate Action Now, an event planned and facilitated entirely by youth in coordination with the campaign. YEA! MN Co-Chairs shared compelling testimony to the crowd of 700 people - half of whom were youth.
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