Since 2000, the Brower Youth Award has recognized outstanding youth leaders who are making strides in the environmental movement. Each year, six young people based in North America are awarded the Brower Youth Award prize, joining a growing movement of youth leaders who are publicly recognized for their sustainable projects, innovative ideas, and informed analyses. This profile was originally published on the Brower Youth Awards website.
Last year, Dejah Powell founded Get Them to the Green (G2G), an organization that aims to foster love for the environment among Chicago youth, particularly youth of color. Powell’s first project with G2G was to organize a summer camp, through which she engaged 14 young people from across the city on issues like environmental justice, sustainability, and food and agriculture. G2G has since partnered with the non-profit Gardenneers to build a school garden at Powell’s elementary school to provide hands-on, outdoor environmental education opportunities for students, and has organized environmental education workshops throughout the city.
Powell believes people can not solve a problem that they do not know exists. Now a senior at Cornell University, she hopes that environmental education in cities like Chicago will improve eco-literacy and help under-resourced communities access both local and global conversations.