University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

New Leadership Program Teaches Teens to Teach Kids about Energy Issues

Burlington--A new leadership program, designed to train teens to teach younger kids about renewable energy issues, is now accepting applications from Vermont students in Grades 8 through 12. The deadline to apply is Dec. 16.

TRY (short for Teens Reaching Youth) for the Environment is the newest leadership program of the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H Teen and Leadership Program. It is funded through a grant from State Farm Insurance and offered in partnership with the Vermont Energy Education Project (VEEP).

Twelve TRY teams, each consisting of two to four teens and an adult mentor, will be selected from throughout the state for the program. Teams will participate in a free overnight training retreat, Jan. 22-23 at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, to learn about renewable energy and ways to share that knowledge with youths in Grades K through 3 through fun, hands-on activities.

Once trained, teams are expected to teach the program, which consists of six one-hour modules, to two different groups of a least 15 youths through afterschool programs, vacation camps and other venues. Energy kits and all other teaching materials will be provided. In addition, all team members will receive a TRY t-shirt as well as have access to a number of useful resources and support from UVM Extension staff and VEEP energy educators.

Applications can be downloaded at Click on "Programs" to access both the teen and adult applications.

TRY provides opportunities for students to gain experience as teachers, enhance their academic resumes and fulfill community service requirements for graduation. No prior teaching experience or extensive knowledge about energy is required, nor is membership in 4-H. Teams will be notified by Jan. 2 if selected for the program.

To learn more or if requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, contact UVM Extension 4-H Teen and Leadership Program Coordinator Lauren Traister by Dec. 16 at (866) 260-5603, ext. 402 (toll-free in Vermont) or (802) 888-4972, ext. 402.