Youth Climate Leader Thoughts on Youth Acting for Our Earth – YAE!

The following are a sample of thoughts about our youth climate training from those who know best – our youth climate leaders:

“This was a helpful academy for me because I learned a lot not only about the importance of taking care of our world, but also how to spread awareness to those who aren’t involved. This taught me how to teach and it really opened my eyes to the importance of reducing our footprint!”

—JP, 16 years old, Eugene, Oregon

“When we first arrived, they gave a very well done and inspiring presentation on climate change, and what kids can do to fight it. Isaac was a very impressive speaker, and awed the whole group of 45 kids that he was talking to.”

—Peter Sallinger, 13 years old, Portland, Oregon

“What did you like most about the Youth Acting for Our Earth training?”

      “My favorite thing is learning about climate justice and greenhouse gases because you get to try to stop greenhouse gases.”

“Why should kids get involved with Youth Acting for Our Earth?”

“If a grownup went to a factory and said stop doing this they probably wouldn’t listen. If a kid came up they would be like even kids want you to stop and they would probably stop.”

“What will planting trees accomplish?”

      “Cleaning up the atmosphere better.”

—Interview with Joel, 8 years old, Portland, Oregon, by Amy Monahan

“[Youth Acting for Our Earth has] helped me understand global warming more deeply. For example, I realized why it is so important that the Arctic ice doesn’t melt, otherwise it will cause the Greenland ice to melt; which will rise the ocean water level by 7 meters! The consequences of this disaster would be that many communities would end under water.

I also understood how to take action to contribute to a solution. For instance, I can help our global community by planting more trees; sharing presentations with other people and inspire them to do something about climate change.

I am doing something to reduce global warming, what are you going to do?”

—Denali Cuevas Ullibarry, 12 years old, Portland, Oregon

All students’ names and quotes used with permission.

And a Few Words from Some of Our Adult VIPs and Volunteers

“I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to a classroom full of young tree-planters as part of [Youth Acting for Our Earth’s youth climate training] at the Mittleman JCC in Portland, Oregon. I watched as the young people delivered a poignant and passionate report about climate change and how planting trees can have a positive impact going forward. It looks like everyone learned a lot that day and both the young people and their parents seemed pleased by what was learned and for young people to get the chance to practice their public speaking skills. In my talk I tried to cover some information about on-going efforts to keep Pacific Northwest trees standing – both in the countryside and in the City. I also talked a little bit about population growth’s effect on climate change as well as a personal passion – planting more fruit and nut trees everywhere when we’re talking about planting trees. Thanks to [Youth Acting for Our Earth’s] efforts to bring forward the importance of tree planting – may Governor Brown hear the call to plant millions of trees in Oregon.”

—Albert Kaufman, Environmental and Social Justice Activist and Founder of Farm My Yard

“It was inspiring on a Sunday morning to walk into a classroom full of students all eager to understand more about the climate crisis and to take action. The [Youth Acting for Our Earth] students who presented were poised and knowledgeable and kept their audience engaged the entire time. This is exactly the kind of work that needs to be going on in communities throughout the United States — throughout the world!”

—Bill Bigelow, Curriculum Editor, Rethinking Schools magazine and Co-editor of A People’s Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis