Empowering Youth Environmental Leaders
About the Eco-Ambassador Youth Program
Faith in Place offers environmental education to youth leaders (ages 14-18) from across Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin empowering them to become environmental justice leaders. The program brings leaders from diverse fields to connect and educate with youth. Youth also complete leadership project using their skills, from dance to architecture, to care for our shared lands.
Make Environmental Higher Education Possible
Support youth pursuing environmental higher education by donating to the Veronica Kyle Eco-Ambassador College Scholarship Program.
This fund was created to honor the empowering impact of our Modern Elder Veronica Kyle on youth with historically limited access to nature and environmental careers. Learn more about the Scholarship Fund.
New Program Coordinator Certificate Program Honors First Graduates!
The Youth Empowerment team at Faith in Place launched a new program in February 2022 called the Program Coordinator Certificate Program! This certification teaches past and present youth leaders and Eco-Ambassador alumni what it takes to become a program coordinator for an environmental organization like Faith in Place.
The team is excited to celebrate our first six graduates!
Faith in Place has not only been inspirational to me, but also given me confidence knowing I can make a difference. Before I only thought I was just one person and couldn't make a change even if I did try. After being an Eco-Ambassador with Faith in Place for three summers, I now know I have the power to effect change in my community and the world.
-Jaylnn Webb, Eco-Ambassador Alumna, Trinity United Church of Christ
Youth Leadership Projects
Youth in the Eco-Ambassador program complete leadership projects.
Check out 2020 Eco-Ambassador, Lailah Cabell's final project. Lailah partnered with the program coordinator to create a dance performance that interprets our need to protect our water sources. The performance takes place on a beach in Chicago and ends with a call to action.
Eco-Ambassadors are self-published authors!
“Growing up, I was never really taught about the coal plant or our Superfund sites in school and feel like it is something that really needs to be taught,” Eddie said in his Clean Power Lake County bio.
I hope to connect people—especially youth—to this fight since we’re the ones that are going to be inheriting this planet.”
Eddie Flores—Eco-Ambassador alumnus and Co-Chair of Clean Power Lake County (CPLC)—has written a new book: Eddie's Environmental Justice Journey!
This bilingual EJ coloring book is a collaborative effort by Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods, Clean Power Lake County (CPLC), and local artist Diana Nava. The coloring book helps Lake County children understand how pollutants from lakefront industries affect them. It also shows how people can work together to bring about a better future for their community. Read more in the CPLC announcement!
"A story following a small town located in a food desert, educating on its lasting impacts, and empowering youth to prioritize healthy habits."
Tiara Bullock wrote In a Land of Liquor, My Hometown as an Eco-Ambassador to highlight the health and environmental impacts of food insecurity. She is currently working on editing the book. Follow Tiara on Patreon for updates and new releases from her environmental justice book series.
Eco-Ambassador Virtual Workshop Series
The Virtual Eco-Ambassador Environmental Justice Series is back! View the schedule below and check back soon for more dates and topics from the Eco-Ambassadors. The first session for each date starts at 6:30 PM CT/7:30 PM ET and the second session immediately follows.
January 25, 2024
Manny Zarate (Chicago): "Better Know Brownfields" - A workshop about brownfields
Sulaiman Abdullah (N&W Suburbs): "Controlling Plastic Usage During Ramadan" - A workshop about reducing plastic usage during the religious practices of Ramadan.
February 1, 2024
La'World Young (Lake County): "Draw the Line" - A workshop about Gerrymandering
La'Mar Young (Lake County): "The Grass on the Other Side: A Personal Story about Gentrification"
February 8, 2024
Magali Martinez (Lake County): "Not Very Fun Sites" - A workshop about Superfund Sites in Waukegan
William Grenier (Lake County): "A World of Leaves" - How Deforestation Affects the Planet
This series allows Eco-Ambassadors to teach each other about any local environmental justice and/or climate change topic of their choosing. You are welcome to join! If you are interested in attending one of these sessions to further your learning about environmental justice, please email Cesar Almeida for more information.