Dejah Powell, Get Them to the Green

As cliché as it sounds, the future of our planet is in the hands of our children. Yet many children are not being taught environmental science or learning about sustainability. This is especially true in lower income communities of color, where many students barely receive a basic education, let alone being taught about environmental or social issues. If we want our children to take care of the planet, then we need to give them the tools and the desire to do so.

In Chicago, Illinois, Dejah Powell is doing just that. She believes that getting students excited about the wonders of the natural world will nurture a love for the earth that will motivate them to act sustainably in their own lives and to advocate for the future of our planet.

Dejah, who majors in Environmental and Sustainability studies at Cornell University, created Get Them to the Green (G2G) to foster this love of the natural world through environmental education, while also addressing the lack of diversity within her own major by ensuring that children from all social economic backgrounds receive the chance to learn about the planet. G2G is rooted in building a passionate movement of young people who care for the environment through education, and empowering youth to become aware, accountable, and responsible for their communities and the world around them.

This summer, G2G is partnering with the University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars Program on a five-day summer program that educates and engages students in a variety of topics related to environmental science. This program will bring students together with community leaders, and will provide tangible and exciting learning experiences that will make learning fun and inspire students to really care about the environment.

Dejah and G2G will receive a flow fund grant via Youth Environmental Grantmaking Team Member Charles Orgbon. Charles connected to Dejah through his organization Greening Forward, which provides resources to youth working on environmental issues, and will be supporting her work to provide this summer camp with a $1000 grant.