“Youth are powerful, youth are brave, youth are the answer.”
Youth leaders stood in a circle and repeated this phrase just before departing our Youth Climate Workshop in the Moorhead Public Library.
This moment was the beginning of our Youth Convening Minnesota project, a seven-month leadership opportunity for high school aged youth to learn about climate change and convene their local community on solutions. Over the past few months, I have worked with youth teams in five communities across the state of Minnesota: Carlton, New London-Spicer, Moorhead, Rochester, and Warba to plan a public convening on climate change and solutions in their community.
Now only one month away from the first of the five convenings, I reflect back on this process and what I have learned from these incredible climate leaders:
- Youth are ready
Their leadership and initiative in this project is inspiring to me as both a staff member of Climate Generation and a young professional who’s still trying to find my place in this movement. Despite the papers, exams, and stress of being in high school, these youth leaders are committed and ready to take action on climate change. They prove that youth are engaged and charged for action and that it’s not necessary to have lived on this planet for decades to stake a claim in its future.
- Young people are an asset
If we want to see change in our society, we have to look towards the younger generation. Inspiring a generation of youth who not only see themselves as potential agents of change, but as valued leaders and sources of inspiration in their communities, will be instrumental to making a difference on the local and national level.
- Mentorship is a two-way street
This project has been a learning experience for both myself and our youth team. While climate change is not an easy issue to work on, having a youth perspective in my work is refreshing—I value their curiosity, excitement, and hopeful outlook on what is possible. They push me to be more committed to taking action and to be someone who doesn’t just enjoy the environment, but who actively utilizes my leadership to create change.
[bctt tweet=”‘Youth are powerful, youth are brave, youth are the answer.’ The youth #climate movement is building momentum.”]
I am energized and excited for what these five convenings will bring. I look forward to hearing from community members across the state on local climate stories and solutions, to see the power of youth, and to feel the energy built by empowered climate leaders.
Now more than ever, youth are proving that their voices are powerful and that they can bring their communities together on important issues. We are building momentum in the youth climate movement and charging towards a future that we all want to live and thrive in.
Discover whether there’s a Youth Convening Minnesota event near you, and learn more about the project.