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.
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.

Information on specific workshops coming soon!

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 have any questions or would like a more detailed first-hand account of what it’s like to attend a Greening Forward conference, please contact teacher and former-EYES attendee Twanneshia Tomas at afsiva@yahoo.com.

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 pay below and fill out the liability form to the right. Please be sure to indicate what group you are coming with when paying.

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 be able to attend the conference without a reimbursement.

Please pay for your registration to the conference below. The fee is $5 per person, which includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday. If you are registering for more than one person, indicate that in the following window.

Please list your school

Personal Development Resources

Non-Violent Communication: Delivered at the 2013 IYEYS, this presentation encouraged attendees to understand how self-empathy, empathy, and honest self-expression help us create a life-affirming, and fulfilled life.

28 Racist Attitudes and Behaviors: IYEYS brings together a multicultural community, which can jump-start some healthy conversations on race and diversity. To equip participants with a tip sheet on racism, this list of 28 common racist attitudes and behaviors became popular.

EarthEcho International: Often, youth who come to IYEYS find a heightened confidence in themselves, and leave empowered to make a difference. This presentation by EarthEcho International was developed for young people who are searching for their self-confidence in their advocacy campaigns.

Environmental Education Resources

Stream & Ocean EcologyPhilippe Cousteau often refers to Earth as the “Blue Planet.” Water makes up 71% of our Earth’s surface, yet less than 1% of this is drinkable freshwater. Designed for stream water monitors, learn some basic stream ecology, and how what happens upstream impacts our oceans in this PowerPoint.

Environmental Ethics & Wrap-Up Discussion: Environmental issues are often not plain or simple; they are often complex, and divisive. While at the end of the day, people must agree that clean air, water, and land are all important; the situations presented in this PowerPoint will help you determine your stance on “controversial environmental issues.”

Youth Voice and Environmental Education: At the 2014 IYEYS, Emily Vercoe, Director of Next Steps at Earth Force, reminds young people of the role they play in shaping today’s environmental education movement. Follow her PowerPoint for key points of her advice.

Fundraising & Development Resources

Potential Youth Eco Funders: Captain Planet Foundation Grants, Katie’s Krops, Youth Service America 

Bringing Home the “Green:” A Workshop on Fundraising and Development: Greening Forward has found that young people today are lacking the skills needed to pursue funding in a competitive fundraising arena. Each year at IYEYS, we deliver a new presentation on how to earn funds that can keep your eco project running.

Relevant Research

Key Findings from National Survey of American Youth: Very little research exists about young people and their attitudes about environmentalism and conservation. Hence, the Nature Conservancy commissioned a national survey 2011. Among their findings, “American youth are unhappy with the condition of the environment, and lack faith in adults to address it.”

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.