There are so many issues, and together we can solve them and find solutions and alternatives; it’s okay if you’re just a kid, you can still make a huge difference.” Nyabony Gat, Anchorage

ccs-brian,ladieann,erinNyabony and 19 other teens from across Alaska descended on Juneau for a week to build their understanding of how the legislative process works and how they can use their voices to influence change. Teens strengthened their skills in public speaking, analyzing controversial issues, communicating with people who disagree with you, and connecting with peers from a range of different backgrounds and life experiences.

I used to not know too much about politics and I didn’t really pay much attention, but at the Summit I learned so much and now I just want to keep learning more about politics.” -Charla Francis, Arctic Village

ccs-nafs group meetingOf the 20 teens, five were returning for their second (or third) time at the Summit, serving as Youth Trainers. These teens chose the issues for the group to focus on, studied these issues before the summit, and led small group workshops to educate the rest of the group. This year the teens focused on local food and toxic chemical issues, specifically: SB 151 – High Risk Chemicals for Child Exposure, sponsored by Sen Olson; HB 201- Pesticides and Broadcast Chemicals, sponsored by Rep Gara; and two operating budget items: the Nutritional Alaskan Foods in Schools Program and the Farm to School Program.

The specifics of the legislative process that I learned with AYEA, both the official and unofficial aspects, have done so much to help me see how to be effective in politics.” -Tristan Glowa, Fairbanks

The summit culminated with a day of action. Each teen had the opportunity to speak face to face with the political leaders of our state, advocating for their focus issues. Each teen met with their senator and their representative, which added up to 30 meetings in one day! At lunch, AYEA held a Wild Salmon Barbecue and presented the Legislator of the Year Awards to Senator Donny Olson (D-Rural), Rep. Bill Stoltze (R-Mat Su), Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (D-Southeast), and former Rep. Beth Kerttula (D-Juneau).

Coming back to Fairbanks after talking with State senators and representatives, testifying in front of the school board or the Borough Assembly seems to me like nothing at all. You have helped me take an amazing step in confidence. Preparing to talk to people like Coghill and Wilson has made me confident that I can effectively defend my views in front of people who disagree with me.” -Kengo Nagaoka, Fairbanks


Click here for a photo slideshow of the summit highlights!

Huge thanks to all of AYEA’s supporters who made the summit possible. Special shout out to adult volunteers Brandon Hill, George Pletnikoff, and Melissa Heuer; and travel scholarship donors: Andy Moderow, Ann Rappoport, Charles Treinen, Dave Theriault, Deborah Williams, Denali Citizens Council, Gene White, Harry Crawford, Jeevan Pokhard, Laurie Holland, Lindsey Hajduk, Mark Begich, Marsha Holbrook, Megan McBride, Nick Moe, Sam and Liz Snyder, Valerie Waldrup, and Will McBride.



Welcome 2014 Civics and Conservation Summit delegates!

ladie anne

  Ladie Anne Marcelo, Kodiak I’m Ladie Ann Marcelo, seventeen years old, and a high school student in 11th grade at Kodiak. I like to cook and love to draw. I want to tell you a little bit of me when I here in Alaska from Philippines. But before I move to Kodiak then I […]

[click to continue…] →

Meet our 2014 Training Team for the Civics and Conservation Summit!

melissa h photo

  Meet the ADULT TRAINERS Melissa Heuer Born and raised in Alaska, Melissa is an avid outdoors enthusiast and enjoyer of our wild outdoor places. She was hooked on Bristol Bay specifically after seeing the extraordinary number of fish and fishermen there and immediately felt that the Pebble Mine could not destroy this area. She […]

[click to continue…] →

AYEA’s 2014 Civics & Conservation Summit

Teen Trainer (center), Shanelle Afcan, speaks at the Wild Salmon BBQ

Application period has now closed. THANKS to all who applied! If you would like to pay your tuition fee for the Summit, click here. When? March 17-21, 2014 Where?  Juneau, AK! Who? Rural and urban teens in 8th-12th grade, or 14-18 years old What? This Summit brings 20 youth leaders to our state capital for […]

[click to continue…] →

AYEA Youth Organizers run 2014 campaign to stop Pebble Mine!

map of youth organizers

Click here to join Youth Organizers as they thank Senator Begich for publicly opposing the proposed Pebble Mine. A message from Tess, Youth Organizer from Igiugig: “Today, on behalf of my fellow Youth Organizers working on this campaign, I urge you to sign on and thank Senator Begich for speaking out against Pebble mine. Senator Begich delivered […]

[click to continue…] →

Welcome, 2013 Youth Organizers!

youth-organizer logo

Abbey VandenBerg, Gustavus Abbey is a senior at Juneau Douglas High School. She believes that the connection between humans and the environment is vital to the health of society and the individual. She enjoys exploring and connecting with the Earth’s wild places, as well as the Earth’s wild people. She enjoys good jazz, good coffee, […]

[click to continue…] →

AYEA Teens Win the Prestigious Denny Wilcher Award!

Three AYEA grads have been selected to receive the Denny Wilcher Award for Young Environmental Activists from Alaska Conservation Foundation! This is the most prestigious award for young environmental activists in the state, and honors Alaska high school seniors who have made significant contributions to their communities and who seek solutions to environmental problems and […]

[click to continue…] →