I first heard of Grades of Green the summer before my junior year of high school. I was involved with sustainability efforts at school, but found that the Grades of Green Youth Corps provided me a chance to grow and share my passion with younger members. I participated in the Youth Corps program for two years and loved the freedom of designing my own Green Project, rather than participating in a pre-existing endeavor. For my Green Project, I spent two years hosting 100-Mile Meals, where all the food was grown within a 100-mile radius of where it was served, and writing an accompanying food blog to support buying locally. The Youth Corps and Youth Corps advisors provided me with not only moral support, but also with countless contacts and marketing resources. While my interest in environmental conservation began at a young age, working with the Youth Corps and interning with Grades of Green for two summers has not only made me more independent, but also made me more confident that environmental science will be my chosen field of study in college.
The Grades of Green Youth Corps program is amazing. Whoever thought of it is a genius. So many kids doing so many great things for the earth is just amazing. The Youth Corps is definitely one of the greatest groups on earth. And imagine in a few years, what it will be like with even more kids on board! All of the landfills will go broke. I am so excited to see where this takes us and what amazing projects we will do.
My daughter, Sydney has been on the Grades of Green Youth Board for the past year; what an amazing experience to work with her peers to make local changes. Grades of Green has really empowered the Youth Corps students by providing the tools and guidance for them to become environmental leaders in their community. Sydney has gained so much knowledge & leadership experience and has been so inspired to get involved.
If it wasn’t for Grades of Green and, more specifically, the Youth Corps mentors who have helped guide me and offered me opportunities, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing, and I wouldn’t have the opportunities for the future that I have. I received the Regents’ Scholarship at UC San Diego, one of my top-choice schools, and I am absolutely certain that it’s only with your support that I could look good enough to get such a prestigious award!
Thank you for giving my daughter a great year with Grades of Green. Aside from her working on the shoe drive and becoming an active member of the Green Team, the program built up her self-confidence and self-esteem.
-Andrea Ganz, parent of Youth Corps student
Let me just say I am SO IMPRESSED with Grades of Green on so many levels. The way you interact with the kids is so reassuring. It gives them confidence and the way they are turning into little leaders is such a great thing!
-Rebecca Tarkington, parent of Youth Corps student
Grades of Green, thank you ladies for the experience, challenge, and tremendous support. Your website is inspiring and extremely helpful! You made it possible to start from scratch and compete against so many other amazing schools! Keep up your amazing passion for our precious earth!
– Zipporah Kiger, Grades of Green Co-Chair and Parent at Valor Christian Academy (2011-12 participant)
I am just so proud of the kids. It is really taking off, and they don’t even need reminders anymore to recycle, they just get it.
-Amy Johnson, teacher Chapman Elementary School (2012-13 participant)
We see trash-sorting systems, composting in place that can be sustained year after year after year, we see young students engaged in the process and making sure that it’s happening. All these schools that are participating in the challenge are winners.
– Rupam Soni, Environmental Engineer, Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
Our students took ownership in the Challenge. They wanted to make a difference at school and in the community. 80% of our kids pack trash free at least once per week, we compost at lunch, and our school produces just one bag of trash at lunch each day.
– Nancy Parsons, Principal Lunada Bay Elementary School (winner 2012-13)