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Youth Driving Change

2011 February 22

By Ameshia Cross

Recruiting people to do something isn’t easy, especially when those people aren’t even old enough to vote. Believe me; I tried it several times as a teen. I vividly remember supporting green technology and alternative fuel campaigns on my high school campus as well as making fliers to green my school. I even ran an SGA campaign that included a recycling drive and solar panel installation at a local youth center.

Throughout history youth movements have been known to change the pulse of nation and to drive people to participate in seeking change. Yet some say that youth today are not interested in their communities or knowledgeable of the issues. Teens from a small town in Texas are out to prove them wrong.
Students in Booker, Texas noticed the lack of concern towards the environment in their community and decided to do something about it. The Booker High School Environmental Science class devised a plan to increase awareness and community service in their hometown. The teens created fliers, recruited community leaders, and other students from across the city to create a recycling center. But they didn’t stop there.

After successfully completing the recycling center and leading campaigns across the city to make sure people knew what the center was for, why it was important, and how participation in recycling helps to sustain the environment for future generations, the Booker High teens petitioned for funding from their school district and neighbors to create a community garden on their high school campus. Students, teachers, and community members share in the maintenance of the garden and the vegetables that it provides.

Talk about taking initiative…these teens are on a roll and something tells me there is more to come.

About the author:  Ameshia Cross joined the EPA in December as a STEP intern in the Air and Radiation Division in Chicago. She has worked for numerous community organizations, holds seats on youth education boards, and is active in politics. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis on environmental policy and legislation

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    February 22, 2011

    Different Between Youth and Older.

    Could taste to love their grand child…….!!!!!!
    I hope the youth in the world shouldn’t die no matter what their reasons, also martyr to the states. Why ? Idea’s sustainability….

  2. Linda Smithens permalink
    February 22, 2011

    Great job leading the youth of our nation toward change. I believe ya’ll are the future

    Linda Smithens

  3. Sic Bo permalink
    February 23, 2011

    great article.

  4. Doug DeMers permalink
    February 24, 2011

    Engaging kids in the mysteries of science is crucial to building an innovative society needed to meet the problem solving demands of the future. When I was a boy, my father helped me build a model to show how Mars could be made habitable by melting its ice caps to create a greenhouse effect and livable atmosphere… Ironically, our kids are trying to reverse engineer the concept today to help our own planet.

  5. Bernie Barry permalink
    February 27, 2011

    we must mold the teens to become a responsible citizens someday.

  6. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    February 27, 2011

    Its great to see teens so interested in environmental issues, especially those in a rural town in Texas. For change to takeplace, we have to look to the future, not the past. Some are wetted to the past and deny all the important science of climate change. For them it is much easier to leave the old dirty energy systems of the late 19th and 20th centuries in place than it is to invest in new energy technologies that are clean and will create a new green economy for the 21st century. If we keep the old system, we will live in an era of limits, higher costs, and dependence on foreign oil. The new technologies will give us boundless energy that is safer and much cleaner. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

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