Reflecting on the 2017 Youth Climate Action Summit

My name is Pechmunnie Keo and I go to Evergreen High School, but I’m currently a Running Start student at South Seattle College. I’m also a part of Discovery Corps at the Pacific Science Center and am on the SYCAN Youth Leadership Committee (YLC).

The Icebreaker Team: Pechmunnie, Cassie, and Hermela

As part of the YLC, I work with teens all around Seattle to plan a smooth-running Youth Climate Action Summit at Woodland Park Zoo. Everyone on the committee was all open-minded and easy to talk to. In addition to working as a big group, the YLC was also split into smaller groups; I was on the team that planned the icebreakers with two others, Hermela and Cassie. In the small group, we all contributed and communicated extremely well with each other and made sure everyone’s ideas were heard. The big group of YLC members met at least two times each month in order to talk about our next steps to spread awareness on climate change. Once it got closer to the Summit, we met up at least once a week to make sure each group was prepared.

The SYCAN Youth Leadership Committee with the group art project

At the Summit, many students from all around Seattle gathered at Woodland Park Zoo on Saturday the 28th of October to talk about climate change. The Summit started off with a rock paper scissor line tournament, which went well. After the tournament, we soon moved onto what we’ll be doing for the day. This introduction was presented by Aji and Maddie. After the introduction, we had sessions that included talking about the Duwamish River, how to write a grant, and more. Each course was well put together with hands-on activities that engaged the audience. We also had a keynote speaker named Rayan Krishnan, a junior at Tesla STEM High School who is connected with Schools Under 2C. He explained what Schools Under 2C does and that he would stay after school to sort through trash, often finding uneaten items. Not only did we have Rayan as one of our guest speakers, but Governor Inslee as well. He spoke to us about addressing climate change and steps we can take to achieve our goals. We also had a group art activity in which we drew or wrote what gives us hope on pieces of a picture of the world, and an Action Fair in which community organizations talked to us about how we can get involved in climate action.

Governor Inslee with the SYCAN Youth Climate Action Summit participants

The Summit went even more smoothly than the whole YLC thought it would, which we’re extremely grateful for.

Want more info on what we did and who we met? Check out the agenda, workshop sessions and presenter bios here!