Grandma might lament about the youth of today, but the Earth Island Institute founded 25 years ago by renown environmentalist David Brower, continues to celebrate those younger than itself. Late last month they announced the winners of the 2007 Brower Youth Awards. And their choices indicate that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For although the wrinklies seem intent on 'growth for growth sakes and screw the future,' the inheritors of that future are not sitting idling by.
Six young North Americans were selected for their "outstanding leadership on a project with positive environmental and social impact" and awarded $3,000 USD as well as training and mentoring to help them carry their message to a broader audience. The award winners for 2007 were Carlos Moreno, 19; Q'orianka Kilcher, 17; Alexander Lin, 14; (pictured above), as well as Erica Fernandez, 16; Jon Warnow, 23; and Rachel Barge, 21. Read a snap shot of their achievements after the fold.Carlos help create opportunities, and secure funding $750,000, for summer youth employment, to reduce youth violence. Q'orianka highlighted the dumping of 800,000 barrels of toxic wastewater into a Peruvian Amazon river basin. Alexander helped create a permanent e-waste receptacle that'scollected more than 60,000 lb (270,215 kg) of electronic waste. Erica testified against a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility proposed to be routed through low-income neighborhoods. Jon was behind the Step It Up 2007 project (a National Day of Climate Action involving 1,400 communities in all 50 US states). And Rachel co-created The Green Initiative Fund, securing more than $2 million for sustainability projects on her university campus.
Hope comes from believing the future will be better place than the present. If these six people, with their obvious passion and persistence, are indicative of the days ahead then there is hope indeed. See their acceptance speeches if need further cheering up. ::Brower Youth Awards via tip from Kevin C.