It was another great year for YES! This year, 294 students from 22 different schools participated in the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) program. These students worked with 281 community members and 136 local businesses to achieve their energy-related goals. The energy action projects that these students worked on this year impacted an additional 20,779 students and 16,007 community members. This means that since its inception in 2007, YES! has involved 1,794 students who have worked with 1,807 local businesses, organizations and community members to impact an additional 99,637 community members and 60,627 students.
YES! teams collected and recycled over 2,000 pounds of holiday lights, 80,000 pop tabs, 7 tons of paper, 10,000 plastic bags, 500 pairs of tennis shows, and 900 ink cartridges and cell phones. One team alone has diverted more than 125,000 tons of organics from their school cafeteria away from the landfill and to the Full Circle Organics composting facility in Good Thunder. Another partnered with their city to enter data on the energy use of city buildings for the past 13 months in an effort to document energy usage and reduce future electricity and water usage in their city. One team entered a vehicle into the MTEEA Supermileage Competition and modified their vehicle from last year to increase their MPG from 164 to 425, exceeding their goal of 300 MPG. Several teams are helping initiate or improve community gardens to teach local community members about local food production. One team hosted an all-day energy expo that included energy-related businesses and organizations, recycling opportunities, children’s activities, and a focus on “providing environmental education to their community members and initiative green thinking for a more eco-friendly future” and had nearly 200 people attend.
All YES! teams demonstrated that they were empowered to partner with their communities to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects.
Congratulations to all of the YES! teams and their wonderful accomplishments this year!