Press Release

21st Annual Brower Youth Awards Set for October

Premier Environmental Prize Will Honor Six Youth Leaders

Berkeley, CA (July 21, 2020) — Our future rests on the youth of this country. That is why, amidst a global pandemic, Earth Island Institute and its New Leaders Initiative program are committed to hosting the 21st annual Brower Youth Awards in a two-part virtual event that will take place in October to celebrate the accomplishments of six youth leaders in the environmental movement.

For 20 years this program has championed more than 120 Brower Youth Awards winners who have gone on to make a positive impact in our world.

This year’s winners will be announced at the beginning of September.

The first event, the Brower Youth Awards ceremony, will take place on October 15, 2020, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The second event will be a Meet-the-Winners Q&A on October 20, 2020, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Registration information will be available shortly.

Earth Island Institute has been hosting the awards program for the past twenty years, through its New Leaders Initiative program, and in honor of the organization’s founder, legendary environmentalist David Brower.

The New Leaders Initiative provides cutting-edge, innovative programming to help build the capacity of young, emerging environmental activists throughout the United States. Every year, six young people based in North America are each awarded a cash prize of $3,000.

Past awardees have gone on to lead significant environmental programs and projects, including May Boeve, who won in 2006 for the Clean Car Pledge and went on to become executive director of, a global grassroots movement working to build a future without fossil fuels; Billy Parish, who won in 2004 for the Climate Campaign and went on to become co-founder and CEO of Mosaic, the largest residential solar lending company in the U.S.; and Deland Chan, who won in 2001 for Roots and Shoots, NYC, and went on to become the director of Community Engaged Learning in the Program on Urban Studies and the co-founder of the Human Cities Initiative, both at Stanford University.

“We look forward to announcing the winners in early September and celebrating their special accomplishments at the two events in October,” said Mona Shomali, director of the New Leaders Initiative. “This year’s theme is ‘Passion and Purpose,’ which reflects what all of our winners have in common — a passion for environmental activism, and a purpose for making the world a better place,” she added.

In addition to the award, NLI produces a leadership week for the winners that consists of six training sessions by top leaders in their respective fields. This year’s training, with coaching on fundraising, leadership, and marketing, to name a few, will provide the winners with skills they’ll need to succeed in building their programs and projects. And a new aspect of this year’s program will put the winners directly in touch with classrooms by having them create an environmental curriculum for students.

Images of the winners, their bios, and video clips will be made available to the media upon request. Winners will also be available for interview.

Image below is of past Brower Youth Awards winners, taken from the awardees page of the New Leaders Initiative website.

BYA 2019 awardees
BYA 2019 awardees