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Oct. 30, 2008
The Young, The Green and The Restless
If you’ve got an ounce of “green” in you, or simply want to be inspired, mark your calendars now for October 2009 in San Francisco. That’s the next time the Brower Youth Awards will be held—just as they were earlier this month in SF before a raucous, adoring crowd of 1,000 people at the beautiful Herbst Theatre.

Of course, if you’re between the ages of 13 and 22 and are doing something cool in the way of environmental and social justice advocacy, go one step better and actually apply for a Brower Youth Award yourself ($3,000, national honors and a trip to California!). Application forms will go out early next year—check the website.

Named for the late, environmental activist/hero David Brower, the Brower Youth Awards (BYA) were created nine years ago by Earth Island Institute, one of several eco-groups Brower founded. The annual awards ceremony features live music, videos and moving talks by the six winning youth who are young enough to be my…well, they’re really young!

Take Jessie-Ruth Corkins, all of 17, a 2008 BYA award winner from Vermont. When Jessie-Ruth was in 9th grade, she decided her science project would be to completely re-tool her high school’s heating system to make it more eco-friendly.

I believe my high school science project involved a potato and two wires.

Or, how about Marisol Becerra, 19, of Chicago. She trained youth to inventory and map industrial toxins in a 150-block area of her mostly Mexican-American community. After arming them with knowledge, Marisol mobilized young and old to create active campaigns against the polluters in their neighborhood.

And then there’s Ivan Stiefel, a grandfatherly 23, of New Jersey, who created a youth organizer training program for students to work with communities impacted by coal industry abuses in Appalachia.

Talk about Hope and Change.
Posted by:
Dean, the PR Dude

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