Since its inception the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit has garnered attention, awards, and praise for both its model and its leaders. From being invited to represent the Summit model at conferences to being recognized by The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as part of President Obama's own Climate Action Plan, the success of the Summit is undeniable.

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9th UNESCO Youth Forum

In 2015 Stephanie Ratcliffe, The Wild Center's Executive Director, and Meadow Hackett and Erin Weaver, two AYCS student leaders, attended the 9th UNESCO Youth Form in Paris. As part of the Forum, they led a workshop for international participants on Summits and how to start them in their home countries.

Summits as a Case Study

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has compiled a number of Climate Youth Engagement Case Studies. The effort highlights unique and diverse youth programming models and student-driven initiatives that are advancing place-based climate solutions. Guess who makes that cut?

Take a look at our featured case study, and then look at the other amazing efforts that are out there!

See the case study here!

Summits: Lifting America's Game

"Under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, important steps have already been taken to cut carbon pollution, prepare for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to fight this global challenge. Continued progress into the future will depend on ensuring a climate-smart citizenry and a next-generation American workforce of city planners, community leaders, engineers, and entrepreneurs who understand the urgent climate-change challenge and are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and training to seek and implement solutions.

That’s why today, in support of the Obama Administration’s steady efforts to address climate change, the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) is launching a new Climate Education and Literacy Initiative to help connect American students and citizens with the best-available, science-based information about climate change..."

So began the December 3rd, 2014 press release from The White House OTSP that highlighted the Adirondack Youth Climate Summit as one of nineteen key initiatives around the country. With this selection came a new movement, the Youth Climate Summit Scale-up Initiative, which seeks to foster 10 more Summits around the country and the world by the end of 2016. What we have done here in the Adirondacks will shape young lives and leaders across the Earth. How cool is that?

To learn more read The White House press release, linked to below, or The Wild Center's own press release.

FACT SHEET: Lifting America’s Game in Climate Education, Literacy, and Training

Road to the White House

One person’s idea can impact the world. That thought reveals itself every day. One person’s idea created a pivotal program at the Center that sent two people to the White House.  Gina Fiorile, an alumna of Saranac Lake High School and then freshman at the University of Vermont, and Wild Center Director of Programs, Jen Kretser, joined other “Champions of Change for Climate Education and Literacy” at the White House on Monday, February 9th, 2015.  The  event celebrated Americans who are doing extraordinary work to enhance climate education and literacy in classrooms and communities across the country.   

To learn more about Gina and her accomplishments, see the press release linked to below.

Jen Kretser and Gina Fiorile with Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology & Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Champions of Change

The Resilient Ones - A New Film

The Wild Center is featured in a film from Mountain Lake PBS and Bright Blue EcoMedia.  The partners have teamed up for a moving film that looks at the predicted effects of climate change in the Adirondacks, and at the next generation of visionaries working to adjust to a changing planet. The Resilient Ones won Best Feature in the 2015 Colorado Environmental Film Festival

In the film, three high school students take viewers on a journey through the region to meet local leaders and innovators as they search for both short-term adaptive strategies to extreme weather and long-term solutions to reducing carbon emissions. The students, Cody Bary, Erin Weaver, and Gina Fioreli gather experience and information as they prepare for and host The Wild Center's 2013 Adirondack Youth Climate Summit.

Watch the film here.

Learn more about Summits here

Students and Teachers Act on Climate at the White House

#ActOnClimate at The White House

Champion of Change Gina Fiorile, a former Youth Climate Summit student leader, was invited to attend The White House Back-to-School Climate Education Event on August 20, 2015. While there she interviewed Kathryn Sullivan, Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Listen to her thoughts, and those of other students, as they begin to #ActOnClimate change.

Students Cut Costs by Going Green

See PBS Clip of Adirondack Youth Action

Mountain Lake PBS recently aired a story about local students cutting costs for their schools by going green. Their inspiration? The Adirondack Youth Climate Summit!