Congratulations to Claire Wayner and Mercedes Thompson for winning the 2017 Brower Youth Award!
The Brower Youth Award is a prestigious national prize that recognizes outstanding young leaders in the environmental movement, and goes out to just six projects per year. Claire and Sadie, both current seniors at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, founded Baltimore Beyond Plastic while engaged in our Youth Environmental Internship program, focusing on getting Styrofoam replaced with products that are healthier and more sustainable.
Learn more about their work in this short video:
Promoting youth leadership on environmental issues has always been part of the Office of Sustainability’s work. For years, we organized the Student Environmental Leadership Action Team, a youth-led committee of the Baltimore Green Schools Network. SELAT members made presentations to the School Board, gave feedback on important plans and policies, and helped organize our annual GreenScape celebration.
In 2015, the Office of Sustainability took a new strategy for promoting youth environmental leadership, and hired three high school student interns to help us with our efforts, forming the Youth Environmental Internship program.
In the first year of the internship, our interns kept a detailed blog of the many ways they learned about and promoted youth environmentalism. In the second year, they formed Baltimore Beyond Plastic and focused on removing Styrofoam from our schools, streets, and streams. Now in its third year, the internship will build on last year’s efforts.
Students of all ages and from all corners of the city are encouraged to join our work! We will be holding events throughout the year, including rallies, summits, workshops, and service days. To learn more, contact Andrea Calderón at 667-224-0267 or Andrea.Calderon@baltimorecity.gov.