Education

Empowering participation in community-based environmental solutions

Empower Youth. Activate Change.

Together we can create meaningful global change one step at a time.

Walking Softer Education is a free program designed for high school-aged students in high school classes, clubs, or after-school programs to learn about sustainability and become empowered to participate in community-based environmental solutions. Participating groups learn about specific environmental issues and solutions, and then take action by planning, designing, and implementing a community sustainability project with up to $2,000 in project funding. Educators who take their students through the program are eligible for a $1,000 teacher stipend.

How Our Education Program Works

Step 1

We provide participating groups with learning activities that cover environmental stewardship, rewilding, sustainable food systems, and material waste management, as well as project guides, and project funding.

Step 2

Our partners use these materials with their student groups to design and implement a community project.

Step 3

Student groups share their work and continue to grow the impact of their project.

Contact Us To Sign Up

education@walkingsofter.org

Student Outcomes

Enhance understanding of the role humans play in both causing and solving climate change and unsustainable systems

Be able to effectively articulate challenges and opportunities related to climate change and sustainable systems

Take informed personal and community-wide action to become part of the environmental solutions

Deepen understanding of green jobs and educational paths

Feel empowered to pursue personal environmental interests

Scholarships for a better planet.

What’s more? High school juniors and seniors participating in our Education Program are eligible for a scholarship of up to $20,000 should they choose to apply sustainability to their academic and professional future.

The Walking Softer scholarship aims to support Education Program participants in their pursuit to further their sustainability efforts at a 2-year, 4-year, or trade school. There are no specific major requirements, but students should have the desire to apply sustainability in whatever path they choose and to progress toward equitable and just environmental solutions. 

All-Stars Challenge

Participating groups are eligible and encouraged to enter the All-Stars Challenge, in which groups create a video highlighting the community project they worked on during the program.

Project videos will be presented to a panel of judges during a virtual event. Using provided criteria, the judges select multiple winning teams who receive a variety of rewards!

This challenge is an opportunity for students to showcase and celebrate the work they’ve done, as well as learn about what other students are doing to positively impact their own communities.

2023 All-Stars Challenge is now closed.
If you are interested in participating, email us.

The Changemakers

Changemaker Spotlight - Mackenzie Feldman

Changemaker Spotlight - Mackenzie Feldman

Mackenzie and her team at Re:wild Your Campus are on a mission to eliminate synthetic pesticides from all school campuses in the U.S. by 2030.

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Beyond The Haze

Beyond The Haze

Good Climate News: March

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Thank You To Our Inaugural YLA Cohort

Thank You To Our Inaugural YLA Cohort

As the first year of the Young Leaders Award program has come to an end, our awe and gratitude remain front and center.

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2023 Impact Report

2023 Impact Report

As we look ahead, we wish to express our gratitude for accompanying us on this journey. Your participation has played a pivotal role in fostering a healthier future for our planet.

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Walking With - Rollie Williams

Walking With - Rollie Williams

In the third episode of Walking With, Rollie Williams, a comedian and video editor from Brooklyn holding a Climate Science & Policy degree from Columbia University along with student debt, shares insights into the making of his entertaining YouTube series, Climate Town.

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Cycling for Change

Cycling for Change

Spencer McCullough's bike journey to all 51 national parks to influence policy

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Walking With - Joel David Moore

Walking With - Joel David Moore

A podcast to amplify the voices of passionate leaders who are reimagining our connection with Earth.

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10 Steps To Reduce And Combat Air Pollution

10 Steps To Reduce And Combat Air Pollution

Reducing and combating air pollution is crucial for the well-being of both humans and the environment.

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Climate Town: Chicago Doesn’t Own Its Own Streets

Climate Town: Chicago Doesn’t Own Its Own Streets

Young Leaders Award recipient continues his Climate Town series with an in-depth look at how Chicago gave up control of their streets.

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Burning Hot Takes

Burning Hot Takes

We presented a set of unconventional and thought-provoking climate questions to the recipients of Walking Softer's Young Leaders Award to observe their impromptu reactions.

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Walking With - Tighe Brown

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A podcast to amplify the voices of passionate leaders who are reimagining our connection with the Earth.

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10 Steps to Reduce Plastic Pollution

10 Steps to Reduce Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is a significant environmental issue that has harmful effects on ecosystems and human health. Here are 10 ways you can help limit your plastic pollution.

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Young Leaders Award Inaugural Cohort Retreat

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The Young Leaders Award is a year-long program that supports passionate, young leaders who are vital agents of change and innovators of solutions for our planet.

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10 Steps to Create a Sustainable Wardrobe

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Sustainable fashion is crucial because it considers the environmental and social impacts of the clothing industry. By promoting eco-friendly practices, sustainable fashion helps reduce the immense carbon footprint caused by traditional fast fashion manufacturing processes.

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Climate Town - America's Stupidest Parking Secret

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Young Leaders Award recipient, Rollie Williams, has a new Climate Town episode where he discusses "a sneaky little law in almost every city in the United States that forces private businesses and residences to build way more parking than they actually need." Hit play for some outright hilarious commentary on this issue... did you know there are approximately 1 billion parking spaces in America? That's four spaces per car and it's increasing with every new development!

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My Experience: Jacob Alder and the Young Leaders Award Retreat

My Experience: Jacob Alder and the Young Leaders Award Retreat

My experience at Walking Softer’s Inaugural Young Leader retreat provided me with much-needed respite. I am often overwhelmed by the insurmountable devastation that climate change, biodiversity loss, and rampant global inequality pose to each of us fellow travelers on our worldly home - Turtle Island, Spaceship Earth. Yet, for two grateful days at Riverbend Ranch, I found peace and gratitude in the sage, pine, aspen, birdsong, and flowing Weber - Jacob Alder

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AY Young - 2030 Official Music Video

AY Young - 2030 Official Music Video

Check out the new music video for "2030" by sustainable recording artist and Walking Softer Young Leaders Award recipient AY Young.

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Education All-Stars Competition

Education All-Stars Competition

Congratulations to University City High School in San Diego, California for winning our inaugural All-Stars competition.

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Stop The Perpetual Plastic Machine

Stop The Perpetual Plastic Machine

Young Leaders Award recipient Von Wong constructed a colossal 15-foot tall art installation laying out the toxic union of fossil fuels and plastic production.

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Checking In With AY Young

Checking In With AY Young

Young Leaders Award Recipient AY Young is a producer, singer, songwriter, entertainer, and entrepreneur. He first began writing poetry at 14, a reaction to the great disparity in Kansas City known as “the Troost divide”. While touring the USA, AY learned that over 1 billion people lack access to electricity. So AY began powering concerts using renewable energy, raising awareness about sustainability, and fundraising to bring people electricity.

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Checking In With Turner Wyatt

Checking In With Turner Wyatt

Young Leaders Award recipient Turner Wyatt is a social entrepreneur focused on reducing food waste and improving our environment and economy. Turner is the co-founder of four award-winning organizations: Denver Food Rescue, Bondadosa, Fresh Food Connect, and Upcycled Food Association.

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Checking In WIth Von Wong

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Young Leaders Award recipient Von Wong's work lies at the intersection of fantasy and photography and combines everyday objects with shocking statistics. It has attracted the attention of corporations, like Starbucks, Dell, and Nike, and has generated over 100 million views for causes like ocean plastics, electronic waste, and fashion pollution.

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Checking In With Rollie Williams

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YLA recipient Rollie Williams is a Brooklyn-based comedian, video editor, and guy with both student debt and a Climate Science & Policy degree from Columbia University. He is the creator and host of the digital comedy series Climate Town which has been described as a low-budget Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Over the past two years, the channel has amassed 421,000 subscribers, over 10 million video views, and has won a handful of digital video awards.

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Checking In With Pooja Tilvawala

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Young Leaders Award recipient Pooja Tilvawala is a climate justice community connector who was born in India, but grew up in the US. She has degrees in Economics and International Studies and first worked at the Meridian Institute to advance ocean policy in Mexico and federal climate policy in the US, form alliances to act on plastic pollution, and more.

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Checking In With Amanda Sun

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Young Leaders Award recipient Amanda Sun studies computer science and environmental studies at Dartmouth College. She is the founder and executive director of Green2Go, advisor of Environmental Students of Dartmouth, and a Youth Leadership Councilor on EarthEcho International.

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Checking In With Apurva Iyengar

Checking In With Apurva Iyengar

Apurva Iyengar is a 20 year old environmental activist and changemaker based in Boston. She is focused on creating a more cohesive and effective youth climate strategy and broadening access to this movement for young people around the world through her non-profit Youth.ify.

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Food Rescue for the Environment

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A Q&A with Ali Dunford, Founder of Hole Food Rescue in Jackson, Wyoming.

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Checking In With Jasmin Graham

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Jasmin’s work encompasses the areas of science communication, social justice, outreach, education, and conservation. She cares deeply about protecting endangered and vulnerable marine species, particularly elasmobranchs.

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Checking In With Mackenzie Feldman

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Young Leaders Award recipient Mackenzie Feldman is an environmental activist from Honolulu, Hawai'i. She is the Founder and Director of Re:wild Your Campus, an organization that works with students and groundskeepers around the country to advocate for an end to the spraying of synthetic herbicides at schools and a transition to organic land management.

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Von Wong's Skull Of Satoshi

Von Wong's Skull Of Satoshi

Meet the 11-foot skull that Young Leaders Award recipient Von Wong built to terminate Bitcoin’s impact on climate change.

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Checking In With Dyson Chee

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Young Leaders Award recipient Dyson Chee is a youth activist living on the Hawaiian Island of Oʻahu. In 2018, Dyson founded Project O.C.E.A.N. Hawaii to take on single-use plastics, and since 2019 he has been serving as a director for the Hawaiʻi Youth Climate Coalition.

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Checking In With Allison Begalman

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Young Leaders Award recipient Allison Begalman is the CEO of YEA! Impact, the co-founder of Young Entertainment Activists (YEA!), as well as the co-founder and EP of the annual Hollywood Climate Summit.

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Checking In With Jade Algarin

Checking In With Jade Algarin

Young Leaders Award recipient Jade Algarín is a community organizer and agriculturalist from Vieques, Puerto Rico.

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Young Leaders Award Recipients

Young Leaders Award Recipients

On behalf of the entire Walking Softer team and the nominating organizations, we would like to congratulate the Young Leaders Award recipients.

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