Earlier this month The Wild Center celebrated its 11th Annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit. This event brought teams of students from 30+ schools all over New York State together for an intense two-day conference.
“I feel the youth climate summits are important because it allows students and young people to have a voice and to realize that their voice matters.” – Rachael Stortz
Throughout the summit, students chose from a variety of workshops that focused on current science and achievable solutions to bring back and implement in their schools and communities. Plenary sessions aimed to educate all about the basics of climate science as well how to use one’s interests and best qualities to work toward solutions that reverse climate change. Attendees also had the opportunity to network with students from other schools, showcase their green team projects and progress at a student professional expo and attend and learn about sustainability on a larger scale at The Wild Center.
These powerful two days empower students to find the confidence and motivation to implement solutions unique to their communities. Tucker a student from Saranac Lake High School shared,
“One of the biggest takeaways from the Summit was that solving the issue of climate change is really a universal human issue. It is a human issue in that climate change and its solutions impact all aspects of life. From food production to addressing socioeconomic vulnerability, solving climate change ultimately requires leadership, problem solving, and collaboration on many fronts.”
Students start to see each other as a resource, using each other to brainstorm creative and innovative solutions that they as a team are passionate about. The Summit creates a safe space for young people to reflect and share how climate change is affecting them.
“I am not alone in wanting to make a difference. There are many ways in which I can make the changes that I would want in the world I live in, in order to make the world a better place for future generations. It also has allowed me to see the resources I have as well as have people to talk to about the ideas and changes I would love to make. Especially those at The Wild Center.”- Rachael, Schuylerville High School
When asked the question, how would you describe the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit to a student who has never heard of it? One student responded,
“I would tell someone who hasn’t been to a Youth Climate Summit before that Climate Summits are the best environments for building networks of friends and leaders who can help, guide and support you throughout your climate action.” – Tucker, Saranac Lake High School
These young people are taking steps to reverse climate change every day and are simply inspiring.
The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit is a part of The Wild Center’s award-winning Youth Climate Program, whose primary objective is to create a climate literate and empowered generation.