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Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - Chicago, IL
Students in the Chicago area are proving that a little bit of creativity mixed with ambition can go a long way. This year the incredibly popular Project Greenway event was back and better than ever with the TEENS Environmental Summit, an event that was entirely for students, by students. Over 200 attendees from 30+ schools attended the event, which included 5 ACE lead workshops, a local and organic food tasting, a performance by Swhintonation (a band that plays bike parts) and an eco-friendly fashion show in which 41 student-made outfits whirled and twirled down the runway for three awesome judges, including ACE alum Jessie Sierra.
TEENS member and now ACE Youth Rep Sarah Kuse first learned about another school's youth summit at the December 3 ACE Leadership Training. At first, her idea was to make their version a larger Leadership Training, featuring workshops about how to take on and implement any number of green projects. But then she and the other TEENS members realized they could dream big. In just one marathon of a meeting, they decided to go even bigger and it turn it into full-blown summit complete with workshops, vendors, a concert, free food and the now-infamous Project Greenway fashion show. Each member of TEENS took on a different task to make this dream a reality, such as creating the set for the fashion show, pitching the event to the media or finding food vendors and tracked their progress with the ACE Chicago Educators, who helped with setting the workshops and advertising for the event.
The day of the TEENS Environmental Summit was a whirlwind of enery and excitment and was a huge sucess. Many parents, students and participants are eager to start planning next year's event to scale it even more. We can't wait to get started on next years event!
Check out our Flickr page for photos from the event and check back soon for a video.