Greetings to all!
Did you realize that the United Nations celebrated World Youth Skills Day on July 15th? The day is meant to raise awareness on the importance of investing in youth skills development. Plus, International Youth Day is coming up on August 12. There are about 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24. Equitable investments in education and training opportunities can forge new pathways for economic, social, political and environmental progress. As in the past, young people’s ideas, perception of the state of the world, and innovations could transform the future. Today’s youth are pushing for action on climate change and are emerging problem solvers who will drive current economies towards equity and sustainability.
Here in Portland we recognise the value of our youth. Many organisations work to empower youth, including OPAL which works with low-income youth and youth of color leaders to build skills to address environmental justice issues, Portland Youth Builders which prepares youth to engage in green economy, Portland Timbers’s youth engagement program which created opportunity for youth to plant 2,000 trees with Friends of Trees, and the High School Environmental Leadership Project (HELP) which is building youth leadership around climate justice. In addition, Metro has just released the list of recipients of their Nature in Neighborhoods grants, including funding for CDE’s Environment 2042 Emerging Leaders Program. These organisations and others in the area are leading the way in enabling youth to discover the interconnections between the state of the environment and business as usual economic activities and empowering and inspiring them with the necessary skills to be part of the change.
At GPSEN, we too recognise our youth and hope to help them network with sustainability agencies in our region, offer volunteer and internship opportunities, and build their leadership skills. If you would like to help build and/or engage in our youth network, please let us know.
Looking forward to growing sustainably with our youth and all of you!