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Students Teaching Students: The Importance of Youth Connectivity in the Fight for a Sustainable Future

Greta Thunberg, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Autumn Peltier, and Nyombi Morris are just a few of the amazing environmental activists creating change in the world as we speak.

Thunberg, a Swedish climate activist, has been a major player in the fight against fossil fuels. Martinez, born and raised in Colorado, is just as avidly against fossil fuels, but concentrates on speaking out on the effects they have on indigenous communities in particular. Further North in Canada, Peltier has also been a strong fighter for indigenous rights, being nicknamed ‘The Water Protector’ for her lifelong fight for clean drinking water in native communities. On the other side of the world in Uganda, Morris has been a champion for government accountability in the battle against climate change and a strong advocate for gender equality at that.

Each of these organizers has very different causes that they choose to focus on, but they all have one key thing in common: they are all youth.

In our day and age, changemaking can seem extremely intimidating. Many believe that to organize you must be a certain age, have a certain degree, or be extremely experienced in whatever field or cause you are trying to support. This, however, couldn’t be more false. Youth advocates have long been at the forefront of all of the biggest movements in history, and our generation has proved and continues to prove that the power to create a sustainable future lies not in the hands of the elite, powerful, or elderly, but in ours, Gen Z, the leaders of tomorrow.

This truth that we the young people are the ones that can create change is one of our key reasons for creating the Georgia Youth Sustainability conference. So many young minds in Georgia are ready to make change, but need a community, a place to learn and network and build confidence in themselves and in the ways that they can create change within their own communities. With this in mind, GYSC will be for youth and by youth, and there are numerous ways we are welcoming middle and high school students to make this gathering possible.

One of the primary ways we want students to get involved is to present research projects on a sustainability or ecology-related topic. This research can be presented in whatever medium they choose, whether it be a diorama, a trifold, art, or a poster.

These student presentations are key in expanding upon this idea because we are the ones who will ultimately feel the strongest impact of what has occurred in our past and how we act today. With these opportunities to present, we are not simply providing a chance for students to research and create, but we are also encouraging students to stay curious and stay involved in the happenings of our world while giving them a platform to help equip other young people with the information they need to help establish long-lasting change in the world.

Furthermore, change never has had a singular form. We want students to know that whether their skills lie in painting, writing, public speaking, crafting, graphic design, engineering, or in any other field, there is a place for them in the fight for a more healthy and safe collective future for us all. Movements are never built on simply one type of person. Rather, they are built on the unification of all types of people with all sorts of skill sets.

This connectivity and growth among students is the key to a healthier world, one that will stand united in diversity and in a shared hope for a more sustainable future, and there truly is no better way to inform, educate, and empower a young person than with the help of a community of youth who are just as driven as they are.

To any student interested in presenting at GYSC 2023, please feel free to learn more here. In whatever capacity that you help, volunteer, or participate, we are overjoyed to have you join this movement with us!

Isabella Rappaccioli

Hi there! I am Isabella Rappaccioli, and I am a sophomore at Alliance Academy for Innovation in Forsyth County. Though I am fairly new to the world of environmental advocacy, I firmly believe that any young person has the ability to help make the world a healthier and greener place to live. Every act and deed, big or small, matters, and by combining community and creativity in changemaking, we truly have the power to create a more sustainable future for us all.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Wow, these young environmental activists are truly inspiring! Their passion and dedication to creating a sustainable future is commendable. The Georgia Youth Sustainability Conference sounds like a fantastic opportunity for young minds to come together and make a difference. I’m excited to see the impact they will have. Keep up the great work!

    1. Yeah i am interested to register myself. Have already registered. I’m going to have my friends join me too, I am actually the president of my eco club and we have a good reaching point. I am sharing this to my club.

  2. Hey – do you know what is possible to bring to present at the conference?
    I did a prior project at my eco club at school and interested to present it at here.

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