Junior Sustainability Stewards Program

Year Complete: 2018
Grant Amount: $25,000
Local Government: Broward County, FL
Local Foundation: Community Foundation of Broward

Project Purpose

To bring knowledge around climate and environmental justice topics to underrepresented youth by introducing at-risk students to STEM/environmental citizen science, experimentation, mentoring, scholarships and a career path toward environmental science or advocacy/policy making.

Key Lessons Learned

Lessons learned about tools and tactics through the project that other sustainability directors could use to advance their work.

Working with multiple partners can be challenging.  Be sure to pull together the individuals from each agency that will be responsible for implementing the program, to set clear expectations and identify opportunities and constraints early on.  Working with the schools can be daunting with how many rules, clearances, and calendars need to be consulted and navigated. Having partners with a formal relationship to the school can help, but they will also have operational processes to consider. For future programming, the youth served should also be included in the development of program from the onset.

Lessons for developing a collaborative process between a local government sustainability director and local place-based foundation(s).

Be sure to have a variety of entry points throughout the program and celebrate accomplishments along the way.  Leaders invited to participate in our speaker series events often became mentors, internship sponsors, or capstone judges.  Allow relationships to build naturally.  Distribute seasonal summaries of the program, akin to a mini newsletter, to highlight program accomplishments and share photos and updates with a large audience of interested stakeholders and partners along the way.

Additional Information and Resources

A marketing and management agency, The Idea, partnered with the Junior Sustainability Stewards to host two interns from the program to help with social programming with the Housing Authority of the City of Fort Lauderdale.  More information on their work can be found here.