Value young people, don’t dismiss them.

We’re always sharing stories of young people who have been working hard to build their community’s resilience to natural disasters. These young people are identifying problems, talking with stakeholders, and implementing community-based solutions to harden their communities against natural disasters.

In other words, they’re doing more than most adults. (Sorry, but it’s true!)

Not everyone agrees this is a good idea. Recently, we received this comment on a social post.

While we know responding to comments on social media is akin to banging your head against the wall, we couldn’t help but address this. Because this attitude is what we are trying to change.

We are living in an unprecedented time where the number of climate disasters are increasing dramatically. (And some misinformed adults are arguing over whether this is even true!) Guess what? Young people are living through it right alongside adults.

Young people are evacuating when wildfires rip through Colorado neighborhoods. Young people are climbing up to rooftops to escape storm surges. Young people are watching their neighbors argue over reducing water usage. (And young people are gluing themselves to art in desperate attempts to get adults’ attention).

We wouldn’t dismiss the experiences of an adult who has lived through the trauma of a natural disaster, so why dismiss a young person? Why not invite them to share their experience and translate that into real problem-solving?

It just makes sense. 

Earth Force offers a way to translate youth passion into workable community solutions. But the core of what we’re trying to do is change minds. We won’t reach everyone, but we hope this message reaches you. Young people can and should be a part of making our communities resilient to natural disasters. 

Written by -

Hayley Valley, Earth Force's Communications Manager, joined Earth Force in 2010 and has since held too many roles to count - all drawing on her experience in communicating Earth Force's commitment to environmental action civics. When she’s not knee-deep in Google Docs, you’ll find her chasing her two boys around.

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