“We live in a strange world. But it is the world my generation has been handed. It’s the only world we’ve got. We are now standing at a crossroads in history. We are failing but we have not yet failed. We can still fix this. It’s up to us.”
It’s 3:54PM on a Sunday afternoon when the Sun Valley Youth Council members start to arrive for our meeting. The rest of the valley is settling in to their après activity of choice after another spectacular day. The quiet of the Sun Valley Institute office evaporates as the room fills with the energetic buzz of teenagers. Many of our attendees join through video conference and their back-drops tell a story. These dedicated teens check in from dorm rooms, family living rooms, and from bright childhood bedrooms to work to create a more sustainable future. Despite the gravity of our work, we always begin with something playful, and today it is, “what is your most used emoji?”
When I was 16, climate change was not my main concern. The youth in the room today don’t have that luxury. They are concerned because their future is at risk and the generations’ still to come futures are at risk. That is what has brought us all together on this particular Sunday, as we plan our upcoming event.
The Youth Council was formed one year ago to host the first Sun Valley Youth Forum- a conference created by high school students focused on empowering themselves and their peers to find their voice in the face of an uncertain and increasingly unsettling future.
This year, the focus of the Youth Forum is on action because inaction is no longer an option. Join us as we work to build a better future!
For more information, please visit, sunvalleyforum.com/youth or email email@example.com
— Lexie Praggastis, Youth Forum Coordinator