Bryn has been a driving force in YEA! MN since he joined the program two years ago as a sophomore at Central High School in St Paul. His campus earth club, Roots & Shoots, had a long legacy of success, including institutionalizing school-wide recycling and composting. But when the seniors graduated, Bryn found himself pretty much alone to carry the torch. Still, he refused to give up, and has worked tirelessly over the last two years to rebuild the Roots & Shoots team and work to make Central a leader in sustainability.
When Shira Breen joined YEA! MN as a sophomore at Minneapolis South High School, we knew we had met someone special. She was already highly engaged in her school and home community, working with her peers to launch a food shelf at South High, and starting a community garden in the neighborhood surrounding her school campus. Following a high profile racial incident on her high school campus, she joined Students Together As Allies for Racial Trust where she received the Underground Railway Award for Strong Commitment to Equity. Shira joined the Minnesotans United for All Families campaign last year, working to defeat the amendment banning gay marriage, became a Phone Banking Coach, trained volunteers, and held courageous conversations with people from every corner of the state. In 2013, Shira became President of the South High School Green Tigers, the environmental club on campus, and was elected to be a Co-Chair for YEA! MN.
It’s April and that means it’s time to celebrate Earth Day all month long! We have several wonderful opportunities for you to get involved.
Thursday afternoon April 3rd, 300 protesters from across the Great Lakes region from multiple generations, marched with high spirits through the final fits of winter, to a contested case hearing, holding Enbridge on trial to re-examine the need to expand tar sands infrastructure, specifically Line 67, the Alberta Clipper, which would transport 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day across MN to Lake Superior. Young people brought their creative energy with chanting, drumming, and a pipeline puppet masquerade, which brought to life the speeches from organizers and respected community leaders at the send-off from Kellogg Park.
Over 125 young people turned out for the Youth Environmental Lobby Day at the MN State Capitol, hosted by the Will Steger Foundation and the MN Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), calling for a stronger state Renewable Energy Standard to provide all Minnesotans with at least 50% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030, and to expand energy efficiency programs that work. High School Sophomore, Kendra Roedl, was as the event and shares her reflection below.
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