iMATTER YOUTH COUNCIL

iMATTER YOUTH COUNCIL

CALLING ALL YOUTH PASSIONATE ABOUT PROTECTING OUR PLANET

iMatter Youth come from across the country to take action that protects the planet from the impacts of climate change.

We operate in a holocracy, providing an equal voice for youth and adults to work together on teams. The defining issue of our generation has been put off by adults and politicians for too long.

Every member of the iMatter Youth Council is a true “KickActivist” who contributes to the local and national campaigns in different ways, building skills as writers, organizers, spokespersons, and leaders.  

iMatter was and is the perfect platform for making real change happen. I know that I need to do something, I know that if I don’t do something, the entire species is at stake, and I know that enough people aren’t doing all they can do for the environment. Through iMatter, I’ve found a bit of hope. We are shouting for change, making it happen, and we refuse to stop until that change is made.

AnneMarie Manley
iMatter Youth Council Member

Youth from every school across the country are invited to apply to become a member of the iMatter Youth Council and lead an iMatterNow campaign to hold their cities accountable.  

MEET THE LEADERS

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Becky Chung
Orange County, CA

Becky, a high school senior, has been an iMatter Council leader for two years, giving presentations, managing web and social media, and networking with other environmental orgs such as the Sierra Club, 350.org, SustainUS, Student Conservation Association, and Rainforest Action Network. She founded Our Climate Story, to share the silent voices of the climate crisis. More about Becky

Aaron Kirby

Aaron Riffenburgh Kirby
Portland, OR

Aaron, a sophomore homeschooler, started his own organization called ORB Youth Activists to harness the power of his peers. He has spoken in school assemblies, conferences, and events and was instrumental in protesting seismic testing in Southern California. More about Aaron

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Annemarie Manley
Austin, TX

Annemarie, a junior in high school, organized a group of friends in middle school to start their own organization, PlanetHEAL to raise money for animals harmed by humans who focus only on their own needs. A writer, visionary, and activist, she is an active member of the national  iMatter Youth Council. More about Annemarie

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Hallie Turner
Raleigh, NC

Hallie, now in 8th grade, has been a climate activist, public speaker and writer since the 4th grade. Organizing an iMatter March and publishing climate articles since age nine, Hallie is now leading a pilot iMatterNow campaign in Raleigh.  She is the plaintiff for a North Carolina public trust lawsuit and has spoken at multiple events. More about Hallie

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Rebecca Laurent
Champaign, IL 

Rebecca, a freshman at the University of Illinois, co-founded the Illinois Youth Environmental Network, now called GreenLyfe Network, organizing youth climate leaders throughout the state.  She is a trained Climate Reality Leadership Corp presenter. More about Rebecca

September Member of the Month: Eden Vitoff
September 19, 2015
I have always had a strong passion for the Earth. I was raised in a family that taught me the value of caring for and preserving the environment.
 

 
Young Eden pictured here with his mother, working in their garden
 
It was only in 7th grade however that I was first made aware of anthropogenic climate change, when I read a book in class on the drastic effects of global warming. The book discussed the droughts, the floods, the famine, the fires that happen all over the world as a result of climate change. I learned about the sea levels rising and the rising rate at which the world’s animals and plants are becoming extinct. I continued reading and waited for the happy ending that would say that the problem isn’t as bad as it sounds, and that climate change wouldn’t affect me. I never found that ending.
 
I was so confused and frustrated. Why is this problem not being solved? Why, if this is such a dire issue, and if there is such overwhelming scientific consensus, is there not more being done? I would learn later that the issue of climate change has been politicized, that carbon polluters spend billions of dollars perpetuating misconceptions about global warming. These companies place profit ahead of the well-being of life on Earth.
 
I decided then that I could not sit idly by and watch the repercussions of climate change take their toll. I would not be a bystander in the fight for my generation’s future.
 
Since that time, I’ve become actively involved in making my community a green and healthy place to live. I’m now the president of my high school’s environmental club, and with other passionate students in that group I have helped to spearhead several long-lasting environmental efforts in my city.  We’ve formed environmental partnerships between the school and the city, started community-wide recycling drives, encouraged schools across our district to use renewable energy alternatives, and have engaged our community in a conversation about the environment through hosting an eco-friendly acoustic concert for Earth Hour.
 

 
Eden speaking at a rally for the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill
 
In addition to this community involvement, I’ve also contributed to a number of statewide and national environmental initiatives. I’m a founder and executive officer of the Green LYFE Network (Leading Youth For the Environment), a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and empowering passionate high school students to speak out against climate change. I was also trained by former Vice-President Al Gore through the Climate Reality Leadership Corps to give educational presentations on global warming.
 
Eden (left) in Toronto after petitioning with the Climate Reality Project.

Eden Vitoff
Edwardsville, IL

Eden, a high school senior, is the president of his school’s environmental club,  student liaison on the Cool Cities Initiative Advisory Committee of Edwardsville, a Climate Reality Leadership Corp presenter and co-founder of  Green Lyfe Network, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting and empowering passionate students to speak out against climate change. More about Eden

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Gabriel Aguto
Washingon, DC

Gabriel has been engaged with climate initiatives for several years. He and his sister, Anna, will be leading campaigns in the DC area. He has created videos, contributed to messaging projects, and given presentations and speeches at conferences, Earth Day events and in schools. More about Gabriel

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Anna Aguto
Washington, DC 

Anna, a sophomore in Alexandria VA, has been an iMYC leader for several years, leading climate campaigns through her school and city with her brother, Gabriel.  She has worked with iMatter and other organizations to educate her peers and meet with officials to stress the urgency of the climate crisis. More about Anna

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Anna Rose Mohr-Almeida
Mesa, AZ

Seventh grader, Anna Rose started her own organization, called KidsCAN, empowering her peers in the fight against climate change. She testified at the Arizona Corporate Commission and the state EPA about air pollution and has spoken at other events around the state. More about Anna Rose

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Sherah Ndjongo
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Sherah, a high school junior, is a weekly writer for United4Social Change, a site for young people to express their opinions on various social causes.  She is passionate about fighting climate change not only for our benefit, but for future generations. “It is their right to enjoy this planet as much as we do.” More about Sherah

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Maggie Harris
Arlington, VA

Maggie is a junior who will be leading an iMatterNow campaign in her city. She is a writer, passionate about leading others to make the changes needed for maintaining a sustainable planet, changes that last longer than a lifetime.

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Leah Booher
Boca Raton, FL

Leah, a junior, installed iMatter poles called S.L.A.P., along her Florida coastline showing where the sea level will be if nothing is done to shift our use of fossil fuels. She is a youth speaker for the Regional Climate Action Plan, and a public speaker on panels, events, and climate change forums. More about Leah

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Amanda Cronin
Chappaqua, NY

Amanda, a junior at Horace Greeley High School, is a young activist, the News Editor for her school newspaper, part of her school’s Science Research program, and a student of Writopia Lab. Her blog, called Gourmanda, covers eating local and food activism. She and her friend, Hallie, are leading a pilot iMatterNow campaign in Chappaqua. More about Amanda

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Olivia Loorz
Ventura, CA

Olivia, a senior at El Camino High, is the ASB president and leading an iMatterNow campaign with her leadership team.  She is a writer, and, as Alec Loorz’s little sister (her favorite title ever), has grown up giving speeches at climate events throughout her life.

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Hallie McMannis
Chappaqua, NY

Hallie is passionate about animal rights and the impact that climate change has on all creatures. She started the Animal Rights Club at her school and is working with her friend, Amanda, to lead an iMatterNow team in her city. More about Hallie

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Ellie Filippone
Des Moines, IA

Ellie, a 7th grader at Brody Middle School in Des Moines Iowa, comes from a long line of climate change activists, her older sister Glori Dei Filippone was on the iMatter council a few years ago, and now Ellie has taken her place. Ellie feels very strongly about climate change. She recently gave a speech to the presidential candidates telling them they need to step up to the plate along with other speakers through the organization Climate Parents.

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Nora Sweeney
Des Moines, IA

Nora, a 7th grader at Brody Middle School in Des Moines Iowa. This is Nora’s first year with iMatter. Nora and Ellie Filippone plan on starting the iMatterNow campaign in Des Moines, Nora hopes to be a strong leader for the Des Moines campaign. She hopes to be able to tell her kids when they ask about climate change to say“ ohh my generation handled that, that’s old news.”

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Sophia Hu
East Brunswick, NJ

Sophia, a high school junior, will be leading the iMatterNow campaign in her city. She serves on the Roots & Shoots National Youth Leadership Council to protect people, animals, and the environment. She also writes computer code and poetry, volunteers, performs scientific research, and plays golf on her school’s Varsity team.