At Middlebury's TEDx conference a few weeks ago, we had the good fortune of meeting Anna Cummins from 5 Gyres, an organization whose vision is to rid the oceans of plastic waste.  Anna mentioned to us that 5 Gyres was working to organize a Youth Summit in Long Beach California, and she hopes that some of our high school-age alumni are interested in getting involved. The Summit, to be held March 11-13, 2011 in Long Beach, California, is sponsored in part by grants from Disney Friends for Change Project Green and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust. The Summit is a comprehensive educational project designed to engage, mentor, and activate youth leaders across the United States and abroad in developing and launching action-oriented solutions to reduce plastic waste in their home communities.

At the Summit, students will participate in an intensive program to learn more about plastic marine pollution and develop their leadership, public speaking, and communications skills, which will result in a global network of environmental youth leaders.  Due to limited space, 100 students (a total of 20 to 30 student teams) and their academic advisors will be selected to attend the Summit based upon submission of project proposals outlining how they would reduce plastic pollution in their home communities.  To secure participation at the Summit, students must form 2- to 4-member teams and submit their project proposals for review no later than November 30, 2010.  The online training program and entry submission information is accessible at www.plasticsareforever.org.

We hope that many of our Island School alumni will consider participating.  Please email us at alumni@islandschool.org if you decide to submit a project proposal!