While the bulk of our youth work is focused on the Midwest region, the Will Steger Foundation is also committed to engaging and empowering youth leadership on the national stage. This includes access to policy makers and high profile leaders in the non-profit/for-profit sector and academia, information and resources related to climate legislation, and opportunities to participate in national conferences and trainings.
40,000 People Join Historic Climate Rally in D.C.
A massive group of climate activists gathered on the National Mall on Sunday to urge President Obama to "move forward on climate" and take action on climate policy. Organizers of the major rally, including the Sierra Club and 350.org, estimated that there were 40,000 protesters from 30 states in what…Written on Monday, 04 February 2013 12:28 Read 3748 times
Will Green Jobs be YOUTH jobs?
Just in case our 5 years of swarming state capitals decked out in green hard hats, running campaigns calling for more jobs in clean energy, and vowing to only vote for candidates who support renewable energy companies hasn’t made it clear — youth really want more green jobs.Written on Friday, 22 July 2011 14:13 Read 26715 times Read more...
Power Shift 2011: Empowering, Transforming, Building a Movement
Where does the power of effective organizing begin? Is it born in the seed of a brilliant idea? Does come from the voice of our loudest leaders? How is it that a small group of committed citizens can indeed change the world? Marshall Ganz would argue that the power is…Written on Monday, 11 April 2011 07:30 Read 30202 times
Youth Launch Summer of Solutions Across the Nation
The power of the Millennial generation is not that we have Facebook or that we know how to use it. It's that growing up in a networked world is allowing us to imagine and equipping us to implement people-oriented coordination of real-world action at a massive scale. At the center…Written on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:56 Read 32364 times Read more...
Grants Through Climate Generation Program
What would you do to address climate change if money wasn't an obstacle? For many young people passionate about the environment, ideas are not what's lacking. It's the means to make these ideas a reality that stands in the way of effective leadership and implementation. Of course there is mentorship,…Written on Monday, 10 January 2011 15:16 Read 38693 times Read more...
Ellesmere Island Expedition – 2008
In March 2008, an international team of six emerging leaders, ages 21-28, joined Will Steger on a 1,400-mile dogsled expedition across Ellesmere Island. Hailing from four countries: Norway, Great Britain, Canada, and the United States, the young team followed in the footsteps of legendary polar explorers and journeyed to the remains of the summer sea ice and ice sheets on the brink of collapse. Traveling through the dramatic scenery of the far north the expedition team recorded a youth eyewitness perspective on the impact global warming has had on the northern coast of the third largest and northernmost island in the Canadian Arctic.
The 2008 Ellesmere Island Expedition inspired and mobilized the new generation of adventurers and eyewitnesses to global warming by capitalizing on the excitement, authenticity, and adventure of Will Steger’s expeditions to create interest, and action on climate change. Weekly dispatches from team members provided authentic reflections on climate change from a generational perspective and created a powerful role model for their peers.
Expedition Copenhagen – 2009
Will Steger Foundation undertook a year-long focus on the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in December 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the goal of supporting youth climate leadership to increase public awareness and investment in US participation.
Expedition Copenhagen delegates were recruited through contacts made on The Longest Summer Tour and through partnerships with organizations such as Global Exchange in Michigan and Indigenous Environmental Network in North Dakota, members of the Midwest Climate Strategy Coalition.
A core program of the Will Steger Foundation, YEA! MN supports a network of high school environmental clubs working together across the Twin Cities Metro Area to empower student leadership on climate change solutions at home, at school, and in the wider community. The YEA! MN network includes 25+ public, private and charter high schools from a cross-section of urban and suburban districts.
Contact Info: For questions, please contact Joe Kruse, YEA! Mn Coordinator.
High School Students Thank Governor Dayton and Senator Marty for Bold Support for Clean Energy Future
Written by Bryn Shank, St Paul Central High School & Samantha Radermacher, School of Environmental Studies, YEA! MN Steering Committee membersThe 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…Written on Friday, 24 May 2013 15:40 Read 56 times Read more...
We Are Youth. Protect Our Future!
I’m Katie Mercer-Taylor. I’m a student at Roseville Area High School and Co-chair of the Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota. I'm very proud to see so many members of our strong and growing youth environmental movement here today. We come from many different communities and backgrounds, but we stand united…Written on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 08:33 Read 1365 times Read more...
100 High School Students March through Sleet and Snow: We are Unstoppable, a Better Future is Possible
The Will Steger Foundation was proud to support the Youth March on Climate Action Now!, planned and orchestrated by student Steering Committee members of Youth Environmental Activists on Minnesota (YEA! MN), a program of the Will Steger Foundation.Written on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 09:11 Read 1523 times Read more...
Marching for Our Future
My name is Cole Norgaarden, I’m a senior at Blake School and I serve as a co-chair of Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota. The reason I’m here today, and the reason why all of you are here today, is because we are currently experiencing a truly pivotal time for the…Written on Saturday, 27 April 2013 07:18 Read 1531 times Read more...
Earth Day in Minnesota: Young People March for Climate Action in Coordination with Minnesota Clean Energy & Jobs Campaign
Written by Abby Fenton, Youth Programs DirectorJoin the Young People’s March for Climate Action! Celebrate Earth Day by Joining the Young People’s March for Climate Action Now!Written on Tuesday, 09 April 2013 08:31 Read 2576 times Read more...
In October, I attended Midwest Power Shift, which lived up to the hype of being an epic and unprecedented gathering. Over 400 Midwest youth climate activists converged in Cleveland, Ohio for trainings and actions to move toward a clean and just energy future. The conference was evidence that our generation in these “fly over states” is serious when it comes to stopping dirty energy, getting corporate money out of our democracy and building a green economy where it matters most--the heartland.
Will Steger Foundation is actively engaging Minnesota youth in critical Clean Air Act defense. High school students representing Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN), a joint program of the WSF and the Alliance for Sustainability, joined a coalition of MN youth from across the state, to address US Senator Klobuchar on the issue. Read a reflection on the meeting from youth organizers at the MN Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG).
What is clear and everywhere you go? Need another hint? Its molecular mass is 28.97 grams. The answer is Clean Air! Recently, Minnesota youth representing eight different student organizations met together to speak with Greg Bohrer, Energy and Environmental Legislative Aide to US Senator Amy Klobuchar, regarding our Senator’s action to preserve the integrity of the Clean Air Act. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) Challenge has been introduced into Congress, and would formally retract the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate cross-state pollution. People who enjoy clean air are worried.
With such varied youth organizations represented, we recognized many different implications the CRA Challenge would have. Cole Norgaarden and I, members of Youth Environmental Activists of Minnesota (YEA! MN) highlighted that today’s youth are the “green generation”, and as 22% of potential voters in the next election, we want our Senator to stand up for the environment and Minnesotans. The other collegiate youth identified public health, the value of science, the green economy and the importance of regulating greenhouse gases as reasons to support the Clean Air Act. As a group, we asked if Senator Klobuchar would commit to defending Clean Air Act safeguards from future attacks in Congress and if she would help stop attacks on Clean Air by voting against the CRA Challenge resolution on the Cross State Air Pollution Rule.
The word “vague” simplifies the outcome of the meeting. A definitive answer was never given; Bohrer portrayed the Senator’s agenda as one that could support the Clean Air Act, but would not actively work to voice opposition to the CRA Challenge. As youth activists, passion and initiative are threaded throughout our lives, making it difficult to have a leader who is less impassioned than we are. This meeting has reminded me that youth and adults alike need to continue standing up against environmental degradation. Voicing our opinions is necessary to see the action we would like, and I promise, I’ll be doing a lot of voicing in the future.
Leah Norman, MN High School Senior, YEA! MN Steering Committee Member
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