Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
— Edward Abbey

Global Young Leaders Award

Global Activators is developing a youth service awards program designed to catalyze young people to learn about, and take measurable actions in support of, campaigns to address globally significant challenges for life on Earth (e.g. the protection the oceans). 

The Opportunity

There is a need to bring many "new entrants" into efforts to secure threatened ecosystems such as the global oceans. Not only are young people a key group to engage, they have the ability to reach out and involve additional people in their spheres of influence. For example, many young people have the aptitude to undertake modest self-directed outreach activities such as conducting public presentations in their communities.

Protecting global ecosystems is a top concern with scores of young people, and they are seeking ways to participate in the movement. Unfortunately, there are not sufficient programs available that are designed to help liberate their creativity and energies towards this end. 

 Young volunteer at Hyacinth Macaw conservation project site.

Young volunteer at Hyacinth Macaw conservation project site.

Furthermore, young people wish to advance their employment opportunities and higher education goals. Because of this, they have a desire to undertake volunteer service activities that provide them with recognition — because such recognition will help them develop their résumés and job and university applications.

All of these factors have informed Global Activators' design the Global Young Leaders Award.

Program Details

The Global Young Leaders Award is targeted for individual youth aged 14-19. The program will have tiered levels of engagement and recognition (i.e. bronze, silver, gold) to enable the most committed youth to advance further. At the bronze level, the participation will be web-based and largely self-directed. Online tools and support (e.g. videos) will enable the participants to learn about a given ocean conservation subject and related advocacy campaign. Global Activators will partner with a leading nature conservation organization to develop these educational resources and advocacy campaigns. They will evolve year to year.

To complete the bronze level tier of the program, a participating individual young person will undertake a modest community outreach effort required by that tier (e.g. showing the featured online educational video to at least 25 people and signing up ten people to the requested advocacy action). Once completed, the young participant and their supervising adult (e.g. a teacher, employer, mentor, etc.) will document this achievement on an online form on the program’s website. At that point, Global Activators will provide the participating young person with a certificate of recognition. The silver and gold level tiers of the Award will have much more ambitious volunteer requirements. They will involve participants reaching hundreds or thousands of people with their own community speaking engagements about specific environmental subjects and related advocacy campaigns.

The Oceans Flotillas are one of the types of Advocate Expeditions.

How everything connects

Having attained the bronze level tier of the Global Young Leaders Award will be required for those applying to become participants on Global Activators’ Advocate Expeditions such as the Oceans Flotilla. In this way, these Advocate Expeditions serve as additional incentives for young people to do service activities for our living planet. Furthermore, in applying to participate on our Advocate Expeditions, applicants pledge to undertake outreach activities in their communities in the weeks following their experience that satisfy the requirements of either the silver or gold level tiers of the Global Young Leaders Award.