Brower Youth Awards

Earth Island News

Brower Youth Awards

Six outstanding environmental and community leaders from across the United States have been named recipients of the 2002 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.” “The Awards call attention to the need for citizens, young and old, to become leaders in finding solutions to our most pressing environmental problems, providing CPR locally and globally as this year’s winners have done,” said Earth Island’s Executive Director David Phillips. The Brower Youth Awards are the only national environmental awards for youth activists that carry with them a substantial cash prize.

The 2002 Brower Youth Award winners:

  • Jessian Choy, 21, of Santa Cruz, CA, for founding the University of California, Santa Cruz Student Environmental Center (SEC), a new model for involving students in planning campus policies that protect the environment. In its first year, SEC’s diverse coalition has promoted 15 campus greening projects and petitioned the University to comply with the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.

  • Max Harper, 20, of Hotchkiss, CO, for developing a sustainable living theme house at Colorado College to engage students and administrators in environmental sustainability and to build a center for campus activism.

  • Stefanie Lacy, 17, of Bandera, TX, whose paper recycling program in the “Cowboy Capital of the World” has diverted 280 tons of paper from the landfill.

  • Amir Nadav, 17, of Eagan, MN, whose efforts to reduce his fellow students’ exposure to dangerous diesel exhaust led to a statewide ban of excessive idling of school buses, and a law requiring schools to relocate air-intake vents away from parking areas.

  • Ethan Schaffer, 21, of Sagle, ID, creator of Organic Volunteers (, a national outreach and education program for sustainability and organic food systems.

  • Nathan Wyeth, 17, of Chevy Chase, MD, Co-Founder and Chair of Student Action on the Global Economy (SAGE), created in response to the environmental threats posed by the current model of globalization.

In addition to receiving $3,000 cash awards, the six winners were honored at a ceremony September 26 in Berkeley, CA, hosted by Julia Butterfly Hill. The awardees participated in a three-day “Activist Adventure” in Yosemite, 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. Throughout his 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.

What you can do: Take Action: For more information about the Brower Youth Awards or to find out how to apply for the 2003 awards, visit, call (415)788-3666, ext. 160 or e-mail

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