Earth Island News
2003 Brower Youth Awards Winners Announced
Six Young Environmental Leaders to Receive $3,000 Each
Six outstanding young environmental leaders from across the United
States have been named recipients of the 2003 Brower Youth Awards, the
nation's most prestigious recognition of environmental activists aged
13-22. Awardees were chosen from applicants whose work on behalf of
communities and the environment epitomizes the principles of
Conservation, Preservation and Restoration, what Earth Island Institute
founder David Ross Brower called "CPR for the Earth."
"David Brower would have been proud to see these young leaders recognized for their accomplishments," said Earth Island Executive Director David Phillips. "Our hope is that their participation in this program supports them in making environmental activism a lifelong commitment."
The Brower Youth Awards are the only national environmental awards for youth activists that carry a substantial cash prize and ongoing leadership development.
2003 Brower Youth Award winners
Rachel Ackoff, 18, of Claremont, California, directed the Fair Trade Campaign for the Sierra Student Coalition and organized a series of Fair Trade trainings around the country for local activists, giving them the tools to work for a global trade system in which the needs of the environment and workers are protected.
Andrew Azman, 21, of Owings Mills, Maryland, founded CU Biodiesel at the University of Colorado, organizing alternative fuels education, and developing and building biodiesel processors. The group received ongoing funding to expand and sustain their pilot program of fueling University buses with biodiesel.
Whitney Cushing, 16, of Homer, Alaska, founded the first youth environmental group on the Kenai Peninsula, which created the first recycling program in the region, lobbied to stop offshore oil and gas development, and helped impose limits on chain-store development in the city of Homer.
Andrew Hunt, 21, of Bethesda, Maryland, formed a statewide network of student environmentalists to lobby for better environmental policy in Maryland. The group, 200 strong after just one year, successfully worked to save Chapman Forest and make public transit a priority in the state's request for Federal transportation funds.
Illai Kenney, 14, of Jonesboro, Georgia, co-founded Georgia Kids against Pollution in response to the growing numbers of local children with asthma. The group organizes protests and conferences and makes speeches to educate and encourage citizens to work for clean air and water, and help curb global warming.
Thomas Nichols, 14, of Corrales, New Mexico, conceived and implemented a program to preserve the fragile Rio Grande ecosystem by wrapping cottonwood trees in chicken wire to protect them from beavers. The program replaced a policy of killing beavers to save the trees.
In addition to receiving $3,000 cash awards, the six winners will be honored at a ceremony hosted by Paul Hawken on September 25 in Berkeley, CA. The recipients will also participate in a three-day "Wilderness Encounter" in Yosemite National Park, sponsored by Clif Bar, Inc., and led by Bay Area Wilderness Training, a project of Earth Island Institute.
Earth Island established the Brower Youth Awards in 2000 to honor David Brower and to recognize a new generation of leaders who follow in his footsteps. In his long career, Dave served as an inspiration and mentor to four generations of environmentalists, many of whom -- such as Amory Lovins, Dave Foreman and Julia Butterfly Hill -- have become well-known in their own right. The Awards program is the core of Earth Island's Brower New Leaders Initiative, which helps past award winners develop their work and encourages others to take up David Brower's mantle of leadership.