As EcoRise enters its 10th year and I begin my second month as Executive Director, I am excited to share our vision for growing, sustaining, and strengthening our programs.
We believe all students, regardless of geography or socioeconomic background, should graduate high school with a strong foundation in environmental literacy as well as real-world opportunities to build 21st century skills. Last month, we published our 2018 Impact Report, detailing how our program effects change and the specific, measurable impacts our students are having in communities across the United States—from Washington D.C. to Tomball, Texas.
Our Vision 2020 sets us on a course to reach over 250,000 students annually by the 2020–2021 academic year, an increase from 74,592 students impacted today. We plan to achieve this goal by training over 4,000 teachers each year across a network of ten domestic hubs. We are already making good progress, having trained over 200 teachers the past few weeks at new program sites in New York City and Houston!
Our Vision 2020 also includes a number of goals focused on deepening our program impact. For example, we will expand our workforce development offerings. This month we are excited to launch our new green building pilot program in partnership with Eversource and the USGBC Massachusetts Chapter at five high schools in & around Boston. This program will introduce students to sustainability career fields and prepare them to earn their LEED Green Associates credential prior to graduation from high school, making it the first program of its kind in the nation.
During the final day of our new National Ambassador Institute in Austin, one of our Ambassador Teachers, Stacie Mehaffey of Ehrhardt Elementary in Klein, Texas, closed the day with a moment of gratitude: “You treat us as professionals. You treat us as leaders. And I’ve never felt more respected and inspired to do this work.” With the right mix of support, curriculum, training, and resources, I’m confident that countless new teachers will follow Stacie’s lead—turning K–12 classrooms into incubators for social change, inspiring students to design a sustainable future for all.
Of course, we can’t do it alone. We are deeply appreciative of our incredible network of partners and supporters who have made this work possible. As we embark on this next chapter, we need your financial support to meet our goal of reaching 250,000 students by 2020. Please consider making a donation today; a one-time $50 donation allows us to provide our complete curriculum to a new teacher and a monthly $25 donation supports us in providing training and support to that teacher throughout the year.
On behalf of our teachers, students, and staff, thanks so much for your support. We look forward to a great year together!