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Dear community,

As we enter the winter holiday season, I have been reflecting on—and trying to make sense—of the challenges and opportunities our planet faces. As a new parent, I find myself wrestling with this duality, wondering what type of world my child will inherit. The social and political challenges are overwhelming. The warnings from climate scientists are increasingly dire. It’s easy to feel pessimistic, disengage, and opt-out. However, I choose the path of hope. And I invite you to join me, because together we can build a healthier, more just planet for future generations.

Today marks the start of our only fundraising campaign of the year and I hope you will consider making a donation that supports youth who choose hope and demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity. Over the past year, EcoRise students in classrooms across the country have designed projects and campaigns that advance justice, equity, and sustainability. This spring, our students will have the chance to share their projects with you and other community members at Student Innovation Showcase events, online and at city halls across the country.

Your support is invaluable at this juncture in our organization. Three years ago, we began offering additional programming directly to high school students, creating Youth Climate Councils to facilitate intergenerational efforts to build community resilience and developing paid industry internships to connect students to climate and sustainability career pathways. These youth programs support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) student leaders, like Jaya; are deeply rooted in environmental justice; and are developed in partnership with local frontline organizations. They are high-impact, providing a catalyst to lifelong climate leadership for many students while affecting local policy and shifting the conversation nationally.

These programs are also resource-intensive. We offer these specialized programs in only one-third of EcoRise regions, our most recent addition being Atlanta this fall. We invite you to help us expand this work in the years ahead. Your support today, or tomorrow on #GivingTuesday, can help EcoRise grow our youth programs. And thanks to our Leadership Circle Matching Fund, the first $17,000 we raise will be matched! Any amount of support will go a long way in helping us reach our goal of raising $60,000 this winter. If you are unable to donate directly, you can show your support for EcoRise youth by starting a Facebook fundraiser or sharing our campaign on social media.

Thanks for joining us and believing in the enormous potential of youth to build a better planet. Together, #WeRise!

Wishing you and your family the best this holiday season,

Jonathan Stott
Executive Director