Birthdays present the opportunity to reflect for most, and for Earth Force, it is no different. Our 20th anniversary celebration is happening on September 22, 2014, in Washington, DC, on the Cherry Blossom riverboat (tickets on sale here).
With our birthday party one month away, we thought it would be a great time to reflect on the amazing strides made over the past 20 years and look to the future:
“One of the most important lessons I have learned at Earth Force is that it does take a village. Earth Force found a sweet spot by focusing at the level of the community. It is at a scale that young people can immediately understand; they build connections between classroom content and real-world problem-solving, and actually see the results of their efforts. For Earth Force, that village is about the adults, all kinds of us, including businesses, schools, higher education, non profits, parents, faith-based entitites, encouraging and supporting young people as they take on efforts to improve their communities.” – Lisa Bardwell, President and CEO at Earth Force
“We launched Earth Force in February 1994 with a generous grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts and started with national awareness campaigns aimed at young people. First ‘Go Wild for Wildlife’ and then ‘Team Up For Trees’ and ‘Pennies for the Planet,’ that allowed teachers to guide young people and youth leaders not only learned the facts about environmental issues, but also learned how they could act constructively to make a difference.” – Roy Gamse, Earth Force’s first President
“I describe myself as a person who likes to ‘keep it real.’ As a participant, board member, and now as an instructor facilitating the Earth Force Process I take pride in the program’s ability to engage youth in researching relevant issues in their communities and finding realistic solutions to solve them. These skills stand out in the highest quality leaders, activists, and thinkers and I’m happy to enculturate these aptitudes in young people.” – Asia Dorsey, former youth and current Program Facilitator at Earth Force
“Over the last couple of years, Earth Force has made an amazing transition, shifting from a primarily on-site teaching and training organization to a matrix style structure that takes advantage of its core competencies of partnership development, data analysis, and instruction enhancement. Throughout these changes Earth Force has remained true to its mission, and indeed even expanded its scope and influence, in providing services that prepare young people to contribute to their communities, especially in areas with the highest needs.” – Jonathan Essoka, current Earth Force Board member
“I’ve celebrated many birthdays as an Earth Force staff member – 9, in fact! But before coming on as staff, I was a partner for the Indiana GM GREEN program for 3 years. Over the course of these years I’ve had the amazing fortune to witness the power of partnership firsthand. I am a firm believer in the village support model and love that I get to help create that Village of Support for young people all across the country. We are indeed a Force – a powerful force!” – Jan Sneddon, Director, Center of National Partnerships at Earth Force
Join us on September 22 to celebrate and share your personal reflection.