Brower Youth Awards: Meet Our 2008 Winners

By Smith, Sharon | Earth Island Journal, Autumn 2008 | Go to article overview

Brower Youth Awards: Meet Our 2008 Winners


Smith, Sharon, Earth Island Journal


Earth Island Institute established the Brower Youth Awards in 2000 to highlight the accomplishments of rising environmental leaders. The annual accolade goes to six young people who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in environmental and social justice advocacy. The winners are each given $3,000, brought to San Francisco for an awards ceremony, and provided opportunities for mentorship through Earth Island Institute's New Leaders Initiative.

We are very pleased to announce the winners of the 2008 award. We hope you can join us for the ceremony Tuesday, October 21, at San Francisco's Herbst Theater. To reserve your seat, visit www.broweryouthawards.org.

Marisol Becerra, 18--Environmental Justice Mapzine

In 2003, Becerra volunteered with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) to inventory toxins in her predominantly Mexican-American community in Chicago. Becerra learned that more than 60,000 youth living within two miles of the Fisk and Crawford Coal Power Plants breathe air that violates EPA standards. She launched the youth branch of LVEJO, Youth Activists Organizing as Today's Leaders (YAOTL), and devised an interactive online map to educate her community about environmental injustices. The map uses facts and videos to educate about the different pollutants in Little Village that cause 41 premature deaths and 550 emergency room visits annually.

Jessie-Ruth Corkins, 17--The Vermont Sustainable Heating Initiative

Corkins is the core leader of The Vermont Sustainable Heating Initiative (VSHI), a group of students from 26 high schools that strive for sustainable heating. In 2004, Corkins rose to a teacher's challenge to create an energy conservation plan that could convince the school board to be more energy efficient by converting the school's gas heater to a woodchip boiler fueled by local products. Corkins and VSHI developed a persuasive statewide plan to develop Vermont's 100,000 acres of underutilized land to grow prairie grass for a revolutionary grass pelletization fuel system.

Kari Fulton, 22--Loving Our City, Loving Ourselves

Fulton worked on two environmental justice projects that inspire people on both the local and national levels. On the local level, she co-founded Loving Our City, Loving Ourselves (LO-CLOS), which works to build stronger campus and community solidarity on issues of concern in the Washington, DC area. …

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