Empowered Young Environmentalist’s Summit 2019

Calling all future environmental advocates! Want to learn more about environmental issues, and what you can do to help? Well, then the Empowered Young Environmentalist’s Summit (EYES) is for you! Here, you’ll be able to talk with a multitude of environmental organizations and learn what it really means to be an effective environmentalist through a series of engaging workshops, important discussions, and fun activities. No matter how dedicated you are in the environmental sphere, whether you’ve been an advocate for years, or are just starting out, EYES can help in your journey. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up below, and come learn about how YOU can make the future of our planet a great one!

Skills-based topics include:

How to turn a project idea into action

How to write grants & fundraise for your project

How to create diverse, inclusive projects

How to manage your time & resources efficiently

How to develop skills that build your volunteer team

How adults can leverage youth engagement

Environmental issues include:

Sustainable Agriculture

Water Conservation

Marine & Wildlife Conservation

Renewable Energy

Waste & Consumption

Land Use & Environmental Planning

Environmental Justice

Diversity & Inclusion

Career professionals from these topic areas

Internships opportunities within these topic areas

March 29th and 30th, 2019

The Urban Assembly School for Green Careers (UASGC)
145 W 84th St, New York, NY 10024
(212) 787 1189

Friday, March 29, 2019

Urban Assembly School For Green Careers

Time Event Location Description
5:00PM Brief Welcome Auditorium To kick off EYES 2019, the Greening Forward Team will give a brief introduction and a welcome for all the attendees
5:10PM Icebreaker Activities Black Box Students will get a chance to know each other through fun ice-breaker activities.
5:40PM Group Discussion: Why Are You Here? Black Box Why should youth get involved in the environmental movement? Students will establish their expectations in regards to what they wish to get out of the event, as well as the reasons youth must be present in environmental advocacy.
6:15PM Group Break Out Various Classrooms Groups will break out into individual classrooms where a member of the Greening Forward staff will explain how the conference will be run. Attendees will have the option to select their workshops.
6:45PM Movie Screening: Chasing Ice Auditorium Chasing Ice, a beautiful, eye-opening documentary, will be screened for the attendees of the conference.
8:00PM Group Discussion: What Role Do We Play? Black Box When viewing a problem as large as climate change, it can be hard to discern what role we as individuals play in the issue as well as the solution. Attendees will be challenged to think critically about what they can do and are obligated to do when it comes to solving the climate crisis.
9:00PM Dismissal Black Box End of Day One.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Urban Assembly School For Green Careers

Time Event Location Description
9:00AM Registration and Breakfast Main Entrance Students will check in and receive their schedule for the day. A light breakfast will be served.
9:10AM Exhibition and Tabling Session Common Area Over a dozen organizations from around the New York area and beyond will be sharing resources as well as internship and volunteer opportunities to students.
10:00AM Ice-Breakers Black Box Students will get a chance to know each other through fun ice-breaker activities.
10:30AM Welcome Ceremony Auditiorium An introduction of the Greening Forward staff, their mission, and what EYES strives to accomplish.
10:50AM Student Speaker: Jade Sweeney Auditorium Jade will speak about her personal story as an activist, as well as ways that attendees of the conference can get involved. A Q&A session will take place afterwards.
11:50AM Conference Breakdown Auditorium Greening Forward staff will break down the rest of the day.
12:00PM Workshop Session 1 Various Classrooms Workshops from various organizations will be hosted.
1:15PM Student Speaker: Ananya Singh/ Lunch Auditorium Ananya will share her experience as an activist and a student as well as how others like her can get involved in their communities -- Lunch will be served.
1:45PM Workshop Session 2 Various Classrooms Workshops from various organizations will be hosted.
3:00PM Workshop Session 3 Various Classrooms Workshops from various organizations will be hosted.
4:15M Debate: Young People -- Naive or a Necessity? Black Box “Oh, you’re too young.” But are we really? How might people discredit young changemakers for their age? Furthermore, how can we use our age as an asset for the environmental movement? How young is too young to join in on the fight? Students will discuss and debate answers to these questions as well as others.
4:50PM Closing Ceremony Auditorium This will conclude EYES 2019. All participants will be handed a Greening Forward grant application as they leave, as they will now be prepared to receive funding to begin their own community projects.
  • Raise Your Voice: Youth Activism to Affect Policies (NYC Soil and Water Conservation District)

    In this workshop, participants will identify an environmental issue on which they want to work.  They will then create a story detailing why it is important to them so they can share their stories with policy makers. Participants will also learn who makes policies at the City, State and Federal levels and how to contact them.  Finally, participants will understand the importance of personal stories in advocating for policies that will lead to a better society.

  • Designing a Successful Community Project (350 NYC)

    Using our “Lighting the Way” LED project as a model, participants will follow a community project from brainstorming to completion. They will understand how to move an idea to a plan, and a plan to a project by breaking it down into manageable steps and engaging others. They will learn how to scale up a sustainable solution to impact their wider community and become influencers for community engagement.

  • Protecting Pollinators: Why Do We Need Them? (Jade Sweeney)

    Have you ever thought about the significance of bees? What about what would happen if bees were to disappear? This workshop focuses on the importance of pollinators, Colony Collapse Disorder, and the other threats facing the population of bees. Students will discuss the consequences of bee loss as well as the possible solutions, and learn more about how they can implement these solutions in their daily lives.

  • Modeling the Future: A Look at the Analysis of the Climate (Cindy Wang)

    We know climate change is real, but how it works and how human influence contributes to it can sometimes be lost in the politics. This is where climate models come in. Climate models are crucial to our understanding of how anthropogenic (human) influence is contributing to global warming. They allow us to combine both technological advancements and science to make predictions and forecasts for future climatic conditions. This workshop will go over how models are developed, and how you can gather and interpret data to create models that portray climate change accurately. This workshop will be lead by Cindy, a student studying and creating atmospheric models to observe weather and convective processes.

  • Game Making: Teaching Sustainability Through Games (Green City Challenge)

    In this workshop, students will learn how to make fun, hands-on games that teach about sustainability. In a group of 2 to 4 people, students will be provided with fact sheets and arts and crafts materials to make a simple game that teaches about an aspect of sustainability such as energy conservation, renewable energy, food, carbon footprint, waste management, transportation, or green building. At the end of the workshop, you will have a chance to play another group’s game and critique it.

  • Elevate Your Passion: Using Digital Media to be a Global Environmental Justice Advocate (Women’s Environment and Development Organization)

    In this workshop, EYES attendees will have the opportunity to hear how the Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO) effectively connects and engages with communities across the globe, and how tools like social media and Whatsapp can elevate the positive impacts of advocacy and give a voice to the voiceless. Attendees will break out into small groups, or ‘Campaign Committees’, where they will create their own unique three-part digital media campaign for one current issue, event, or topic related to diversity & inclusion within environmental justice. The committees will have the opportunity to present their advocacy campaign and will share how it reaches the goal of transforming ideas into real action.

  • How To Safely Reverse Global Warming (Seedball)

    In this workshop, we will explore the general foundation of how to understand the catastrophic nature of this global crisis, uproot certain misconceptions that are delaying solution implementation at the individual, community, and governing level, and discuss foolproof solutions that can begin to reverse global warming in less than 5 years after reaching a critical mass of participants. Some topics we will cover are topsoil building, holistic and intermittent grazing, bio-gas, regenerative farming, agroforestry, massive food production, aquaculture, marine habitat, biodiversity, linguistic diversity, open source technology and education systems.  And, as a bonus, we’ll get our hands dirty if we have time by making seed balls as a hands on first step to being part of the long term solution.

  • The Art of Diplomacy in Environmental Activism (Ben May, Think Ocean)

    In this workshop, you will learn valuable lessons on how to effectively use politics and diplomacy to make your community more sustainable. These lessons include how to react to opposition, how to convince administrators to support you, and more. Whether it is meeting with politicians, school district officials, or your peers, the art of diplomacy will come in handy during every part of your journey as a young environmental advocate.

  • 100% Renewable, 100% Doable: How to Campaign for Renewable Energy (NJPIRG)

    This workshop will teach you how to organize and run a campaign to get your school to commit to 100% renewable energy. We will talk about how to develop a campaign – from conceptualization to planning to execution. Finally, we will have a few tactical trainings to teach participants how to table actively and lobby decision-makers. Amy, the host of this workshop, has coordinated a 100% renewable energy campaign for two years at Rutgers University, where she studies environmental policy, and is also the campaign coordinator for 100% renewables and State Board Vice Chair of the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group Student Chapters, the largest student-run, student-funded nonprofit in New Jersey.

  • Coasts of the Future: Who's Getting Wetter and What Can We Do About It? (Waterfront Alliance)

    Use mini wave tanks to evaluate the impacts of water forces like sea level rise and increased storm surge on different types of coastlines, then use government data to add in the additional factors of social and infrastructure concerns on the waterfront. Put it all together in an advocacy exercise evaluating real urban coastlines and making resiliency recommendations for the communities there. Be prepared to get your hands wet while thinking about how to keep dry for the future!

Student Environmental Debate

For the second time at EYES, Greening Forward will be hosting a student environmental debate to increase student participation in the conference. This debate will be designed to develop student’s proficiencies at creating an argument, effectively communicating crucial points, and public speaking. In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to convey messages effectively to audiences so that they understand the problem and potential solutions. Creating arguments and public speaking are both skills that get better with practice, and this is an opportunity to work on them in a low-stakes environment in front of your peers.

It is also an opportunity for students to win prizes!

The structure of the debate will be as such: Students will break into groups depending on a topic they would like to discuss. Last year, our two topics were GMOs and Sustainable Energy. Each group will then discuss each topic, with students communicating what they have learned about it through school, reading, or other methods. Students who did not know much prior to the discussion on the topic are invited to present their opinions on the subject based on what they have heard, and ask questions to those who are more knowledgable. After a 15-20 minute discussion, the separate groups will rejoin. Volunteers from each group will be invited to the front of the room to talk about what they learned to the other groups, who will then do the same. Speakers will receive a free Greening Forward T-shirt.

More information will be given Saturday morning regarding the debate. Debate topics have not yet been determined, so if you have a particular topic that you think would be good for discussion please send your ideas to robert@greeningforward.org.

If you are from out of state or will need to travel for the summit and need help finding lodging for yourself or a group, please contact robert@greeningforward.org and we can help find a place to accommodate you.

The NYC Department of Education’s Sustainability Initiative has co-sponsored EYES with Greening Forward since 2015. The department has been an incredible partner for us by providing funding for food and supplies, assisting with program and overall summit development, and promoting it to schools, student groups, and nonprofits across New York City.



Please register for the conference here. After filling out the form, you may fill out the liability form to the right. Please be sure to indicate what group you are coming with.

Students must complete the 2019 Liability Release form in order to participate in the 2019 Empowered Young Environmentalists Summit. Forms may be submitted electronically to jacob@greeningforward.org or brought to the conference in-person. Failure to return this form properly signed either electronically or at the time of the conference may result in you not being able to attend the conference.