Brower Youth Awards 2010
Earth Island Institute established the Brower Youth Awards in 2000 to honor founder and legendary environmental activist, David R. Brower and to call forth a new generation of leaders.
From Alaska, to Puerto
Rico, to the Bronx; get to know the young winners of the 2010 Brower Youth Awards,
and learn about their many inspiring accomplishments!
The annual Brower Youth Awards honor six young people for their outstanding activism and achievements in the fields of environmental and social justice advocacy. The 2010 award winners are:
FREYA CHAY, 15, Kenai, AK
Freya energized the Alaskan legislature by helping to create new incentives for homeowners to install clean energy systems.
MARCUS GRIGNON, 21, Keshena, WI
Marcus encourages sustainability on the Menominee Reservation. He created a program called "Greening the Schools: Honoring Our Traditions" to boost ecological consciousness in his Native American nation. The program is part of Marcus' larger non-profit, Citizens for a Sustainable Future, giving students the opportunity to graduate from high school with a certificate in environmental stewardship.
DE'ANTHONY JONES, 18, San Francisco, CA
De’Anthony has worked to connect social justice and global climate change through the group Environmental Service Learning Initiative (ESLI), an organization that works in public high schools in San Francisco. De’Anthony’s engages youth of color in the environmental movement through integrating environmental service, collaboration with community-based organizations, and hands-on learning. He is helping to create a new youth culture that takes environmental stewardship as a given.
ANA ELISA PEREZ-QUINTERO, 20, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ana Elisa started GAIA (Grupos Ambientales Interdisciplinarios Aliados) as a youth-led non-profit organization dedicated to developing a culture of eco-citizenry through environmental groups in schools. These groups are based on an integrated curriculum that combines ecology, art, culture, and environmental activism. As part of this work, Ana Elisa has developed three urban gardens that serve as a hands-on laboratory for students and an incubator for new environmental campaigns.
VARSHA VIJAY, 22, Coralville, IA
In an effort to help combat oil extraction and deforestation in the Amazon, Varsha started Fortificando el Intercambio (Strengthening the Exchange) to share academic findings about the rainforest with the Waorani tribe in Ecuador. By improving the Waorani tribe’s access to the latest science about Amazonian ecosystems and equipping them with GPS and other mapping technologies, Varsha is helping the tribe and local NGOs to better watchdog the oil and logging industry. Varsha’s work with the Waorani is helping to preserving the culture of the tribe and conserve the plants and animals of this biodiversity hotspot.
MISRA WALKER, 18, Bronx, NY
Misra and her teen advocacy group, ACTION, lobbied the New York transit authority (MTA) for a bus route to be extended to include stops at a South Bronx park that residents otherwise had poor access. Misra’s campaign was successful, and a seasonal city shuttle bus now serves the park in the summer, taking 4,000 Bronx residents to green space they might not otherwise be able to enjoy.