Keynoting to 1,000+ educators, Jordan Howard, ECHS alumna (age 20) “schools” us graciously and persuasively on letting youth lead. From her keynote address at the Green Schools National Conference presentation this February:
“I am a product of a Green School. I am a product of Environmental Education. I am where I am in my life because of student-led learning. I’m here to show you what happens when you as educators, nation builders and classroom facilitators step back…. A little….. And let youth lead.”
In her talk, Jordan shared many inspiring and exemplary stories of youth leadership. One of the stories she shared was that of a youth Green Team in Miami Florida who got statewide attention for helping their school save over $50,000 by lowering the school’s energy consumption. A great story that not only illustrates youth leadership but also helps us understand the business case for sustainability!
Jordan closed by giving the 3 C’s reminder about working with and empowering youth:
- “Connect : Connect with us. Relate to us. What are we interested in? What are our talents? What are our gifts? Can it involve technology? – we love that! Can it involve social media? – we love that! [short RANT on how no one is tweeting] If you’re not tweeting, you’re not sharing, and if you’re not sharing your best practices, they’re not happening.
- Collaborate : Work WITH us. It’s okay to not always be the expert. Provide us with some information and let us tell you what the next steps are.
- Create : Once you’ve Connected with us, Collaborate with us in the classroom. We will be empowered to create outside of the classrooms: Around our campuses, in our homes, in our communities, in our cities, and around the world.”