September 10, 2018
Winners receive $5,000 grand prize and trip to share solutions with world leaders at California’s Global Climate Action Summit
Winners of the Youth Step Up climate competition will share their climate solutions with leaders around the world at the Global Climate Action Summit. The top prizes are awarded to 1) Michael Wong of Oakland, California for his team’s innovative light motion sensor to combat energy waste; 2) Kayla Soren of Louisville, Kentucky for the International Student Environmental Coalition to connect global youth working for climate justice; and 3) Katy Swiere of Orange, Texas for climate-friendly school meals. The three winners earn a cash prize and a trip to present their ideas to world leaders at the Global Climate Action Summit in mid-September.
“Youth Step Up is designed to accelerate the transformative work that youth are already doing, and encourage more people to call for solutions,” said Page Atcheson, the Executive Director of Our Climate, who is administering the contest. The competition is built around a climate solution essay in one of five categories: 1) public policy, 2) business plan, 3) urban and land use planning, 4) science and technology, and 5) activism. The contest also includes a creative component, such as handmade art or a video. Creative submissions will be on display during the Global Climate Action Summit.
The three winners will be joined in California by a top contestant for each category of the contest 1) Valeree Catangay, Activism; 2) Eliana Marzullo, Business; 3) Ugo Angeletti, Urban Planning ; 4) Tyler White, Public Policy; and 5) Sanjana Paul, Science. Students will participate in a multi-day program to collaborate on climate action, and present their projects at a Global Climate Action Affiliate event. Multiple submissions from the competition will be on display during the Summit.
“It’s time to unlock solutions to climate change. The Youth Step Up Challenge helps energize and motivate the generation most impacted,” said Ken Alex, a Senior Policy Advisor to California Governor Brown and judge for Youth Step Up. Other judges include: Quentin Foster at EDF, Lydia Avila from the Power Shift Network, Bob Inglis from RepublicEN, Jacqui Patterson with NAACP, and Yassamin Ansari with Mission 2020, and Elysa Hammond, VP of Environmental Stewardship, at Clif Bar.
The competition process included outreach to hundreds of universities, community colleges and youth groups to ensure that as many people as possible learn about the opportunity to share their work and engage in the Global Climate Action Summit. Millennials and Generation Z are now the largest voting bloc in America. If no action is taken on climate change, climate impacts are estimated to cost Millennials $8.8 trillion in lifetime income.