Young people of today will face unprecedented fallout from the climate crisis, encountering environmental health and safety threats that generations before them had not had to address. With those concerns in mind, Indiana Environmental Reporter and Earth Charter Indiana have partnered to create the Youth Environmental Press Team.
The team will gather the best Indiana high school journalism on environmental challenges and solutions. These stories will be published on the IER website, allowing statewide exposure for young journalists and a platform to share young people’s thoughts on these issues.
Leading the team are Angel-Hannah Akinleye, a senior at Riverside High School in Indianapolis; Elizabeth Valadez, a senior at Southport High School in Indianapolis and Jim Poyser, executive director of Earth Charter.
Poyser said the youth team’s work is exactly in line with Earth Charter’s mission to empower young people with facts about the climate crisis and its solutions.
“What better way to do that than to support our brilliant high school journalists in Indiana by giving them a broader platform via Indiana Environmental Reporter? This program will further amplify the voices of young Hoosiers as we work together to create a more just, equitable and promising future,” he said.
Akinleye said she joined the press team to help break down boundaries for young journalists across Indiana.
“I believe that this project will grow and inspire many,” she said. “The Indiana Environmental Reporter is leading by example and showing how collaboration will change the world. I believe many other newspapers and media sites should include youth voices because yes, we are the future of tomorrow, but we are making changes today.”
Both Akinleye and Poyser agree that environmental journalism is an important avenue for providing people with facts about climate change.
“I want to believe that every single person cares about environmental issues no matter their age. But does everyone have a passion and drive and see that climate change is a pressing issue that doesn’t just affect human beings but every living being on this planet?” Akinleye said. “I have been inspired by so many high schoolers across Indiana, the U.S and the world who have fought with passion and drive.”
If you are a high school student interested in contributing to this project, please email Jim Poyser at firstname.lastname@example.org.