Tier Two Winner

Adirondack Youth Climate Program

The Wild Center
New York

The Adirondack Youth Climate Program is a full-year program engaging youth in climate change initiatives. The program reaches youth leaders through community outreach events, a Youth Climate Leadership Practicum in which youth leaders increase their understanding of climate change and organize around the cause, an annual Youth Climate Summit in which youth meet with professionals and educators on climate change issues, and the creation of student-driven Climate Action Plans in which youth leaders work with peers, teachers, and science professionals to devise a strategy to tackle local impacts of climate change.

Judges Comment

“Above all, the judging panel was impressed by the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit’s innovative approach to catalyzing action among teens. The AYCS, judges agreed, pushes youth to understand and take ownership over an environmental challenge that threatens the region’s leisure activity and economy. Bringing the importance of collaboration to the fore, judges appreciated that the program brings together youth, subject matter experts, schools, communities, government officials, and members of the private sector to discuss and tackle environmental issues. This work results in an impressive recipe for success, according to judges: youth engage in a continuum of holistic involvement with Climate Action Plans that they create through the Summit. The Climate Action Plans, they said, are a powerful way to achieve sustainable results. The Summits, judges agreed, give students a platform to achieve with high caliber, professional presentation and communication skills. Judges were thrilled with the program’s ability to leverage its innovation of convening and engaging youth through supporting replication in Finland.”