Community Improvement & Capacity Building,
Physical & Earth Sciences,
Mission: Earth Force engages young people as active citizens who improve the environment and their communities now and in the future.
Results: At its core, Earth Force is committed to ensuring young people have a platform to be civic actors in their community. We approach our work with a collective impact lens and collaborate in an intentional, mutually beneficial way with local organizations in the communities we serve. When young people are supported by a broad network of support made up of their educators, their local government, local environmental or youth development organizations, invested businesses, and other stakeholders, the possibilities open up and young people gain a much deeper and effective platform for learning. For over 15 years, we worked with Brandeis University's Center for Youth & Communities to externally evaluate our impact on educators and students.
Learn more at http://www.earthforce.org/?q=Impact
Target demographics: K-12 youth, educators
Direct beneficiaries per year: 23,000
Geographic areas served: United States
Programs: We bring together partners to transform how communities educate and engage young people around environment issues. Together, Earth Force and our partners stimulate opportunities for young people living in low-income communities to engage in real problem solving around environmental issues in their communities.
Our approach combines the best of community development with youth civic engagement, service learning and environmental education. The result is national and local networks of organizations that successfully engage youth in civic life. There are three essential elements to our work:
1. Build support and consensus within communities, national organizations and among local leaders
2. Increase the capacity of schools and community-based organizations to effectively engage youth
3. Expand the impact of local programs by coordinating the work of like-minded organizations
How do you spark interest in students and volunteers that lasts and makes them want to learn more, do more, help more, and become more engaged as citizens? Put simply, Earth Force.
Over the last decade, Earth Force has made serving and improving our community exciting, easy, and fulfilling. It sets itself apart by empowering youth voice and creating long-term solutions that make sense for our community. After the program, students have reflected with comments like “this project helped us show adults that kids our age can do more than just play video games,” and “now I want to pick up litter when I see it and help teach others why they should, too.”
Earth Force takes the guesswork and headache out of typical non-profit issues such as funding, media, and support so we can focus on connecting with youth and cultivating better business and community practices. We cannot say enough about this organization’s culture and professional, passionate team. Earth Force’s collaborative approach and program framework are an icon for non-profits and for the future of environmental education in North America.