Western Mass Youth Climate Summit
“I can make a change in my community to solve climate change, and not just sit around thinking I can’t do anything to help.” – Western Mass Climate Summit Participant
The Youth Climate Summit is a participant-driven educational conference for youth, designed to create an opportunity for learning, dialogue and action on climate change. This premiere 2-day climate event for Western MA youth has served 100 youth from 6 local high schools at a time when youth leadership and empowerment is harnessing the world stage for change.
Student participants attend Summit workshops, tours, and interactive sessions designed to provide a balance of factual information, tools for confidence building, and project stories for inspiration and hope. As a culminating project, student teams develop an action plan for their high school, to be implemented in the coming year with support form Summit leaders.
Now heading into its third year in 2019, the Summit continues to innovate and inspire youth with the co-leadership of the Hitchcock Center’s Education Director Colleen Kelley and Brittany Gutermuth, Climate Education Coordinator with Mass Audubon’s Connecticut River Valley Sanctuaries. The event is also supported by collegiate Summiteers from Hampshire and Smith Colleges who help plan and guide students in event activities.
Teams of high school students from all over the Connecticut River Valley are invited to attend the 2 day workshop on climate solutions and action.
Thank you to our Apex Sponsor, Laura Townes, and our Climate Collaborator, Greenfield Northampton Cooperative Bank.
The WMYCS is a two day, informational, inspirational, and engaging event that seeks to connect teams of 5-6, 8-12th grade students to the science and solutions of climate change through workshops, activities, and creating climate action plans for their schools. This year’s Summit will be split into 2 days, 1 month apart so students can learn and connect the first day (November 15th at the Hitchcock Center in Amherst), go back to their school communities to see where they can make a difference, and come back together on the 2nd day (December 13th at Arcadia in Easthampton) to create their climate action plan and work on communicating that plan to their communities.
To bring a team to this year’s WMYCS contact Brittany Gutermuth. The deadline to confirm and save a spot for your team is September 27, 2019. Visit the Western Mass Youth Climate Summit website to learn more. And, consider sharing the Summit Invitation with your fellow teachers and students.
We’re excited to welcome confirmed schools: Amherst Regional High School, The Bement School, Deerfield Academy, Frontier Regional High School, Greenfield High School, Hampden Charter School of Science, Hampshire Regional High School, Northampton High School, Quabbin Regional High School, South Hadley High School, Suffield High School (CT), Williston Northampton School to the 2019 WMYCS!
To help sponsor the Youth Climate Summit, and join our commitment to inspire the next generation of environmental leaders, please contact Rebecca Niemark.
Climate Action Planing and Results
Youth Climate Summit 2018 Video
Videographers: Jarret Smith & Michael Diaz from Northampton High School
Producer & editor: Eli Kramer
Climate Summit in the News
Youth Voices for the Environment
Do you care about nature and the environment? Are you a young person in our community who is working in your school, neighborhood, town, family, and beyond to guide and influence environmental issues?
Whatever it is that you are doing for the environment, we want to hear about it and share your voice and work with our community. Through our blog, e-newsletter, social media, and website the Hitchcock Center wants to amplify your work. We want to get the word out about the cool things you are doing! Learn more about Youth Voices for the Environment and submit your project today!
What was your favorite part of the Summit?
Each Climate Summit asks participants to complete and anonymous survey. Here’s what a few had to say:
“Developing an action plan.”
“I appreciated making the climate action plan and making realistic goals.”
“Being able to learn about climate change in so many different ways.”
“Learning about different schools doing environmental solutions.”
“I enjoyed getting to work with other students and discuss the issues that we are currently facing.”
“Our time to come up with a project for our solution.”
“All the presentations! I can’t chose my favorite one!”
“The climate action planning was very empowering. I also loved the vegan meals. They inspired me to reduce my own meat consumption.”
“Presentations by others, being educated, and making a plan to help my school community.”
Climate Summit photography by Phil Doyle and Jessica Schultz