Greening Forward 2018 Annual Report

The 10-year anniversary of an incredible, youth-led movement.

Through my time with Greening Forward, I am always learning new things about our organization. With every new person we add to the team, with every new program that we create, with every grant that we give, and with every young person we can empower at our conference, I learn more about how we have been able to make an impact in the world. Greening Forward has been able to capitalize on a growing environmental movement and a plentiful supply of passionate young people, to allow us to actually create the difference we wish to see in the world, year after year. After almost 2 years with the organization, I see it as a true frontrunner in the development of a new generation of leaders who have the capacity to change everything.

Greening Forward has grown to be one of the largest youth-led nonprofits in the country since its founding in 2008, and it has been able to accomplish things that many would not think possible for a student-led group. As of December 2018, Greening Forward has given out over $80,000 in grants to young people through our grant program, the Earth Savers Club. In the spring of 2018, Greening Forward and the NYC Department of Education’s Sustainability Initiative hosted the 6th Annual International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit, which saw students from across the country come together to network with peers, develop as leaders, and learn specific skills for them to make a difference in their community. And, over the summer we were able to expand our presence internationally to Cameroon, through the inspirational work and dedication of our team member Perise Forbi. There, we have been able to help empower a whole country’s worth of young people who had never before had the opportunity to learn their true capabilities.

Young people across the world are ready to tackle the biggest environmental challenges that face our society today. However, our society must open up with leadership opportunities, forums, and other outlets for these young leaders to express themselves in a meaningful way, or else their impact can never be truly felt. With your support, Greening Forward will remain dedicated to pursuing its goal of empowering the global population of young people to be the leaders that we all need, both for today and tomorrow.

Come with us through our 2018 Annual Report as we highlight what Greening Forward has accomplished, and what you should be excited for heading into the next year.


IYEYS is the largest youth-driven environmental conference in the country, providing the opportunity for young people to gain the skills they need to take their environmental campaigns to the next level. Students and their mentors participated attended two days of workshops and discussions that covered issues across the environmental spectrum – from topics like sustainable agriculture and green living, to renewable energy and water quality.

During workshop periods, students had the opportunity to work hands-on with real solutions to current environmental problems. In this one, students were able to create water filters similar to those used by Mollusks.
Enthusiastic students gathered at IYEYS 2018 from across NYC and the Northeast. Over 20 schools and student groups were represented at the summit.
Partnering environmental organizations came and provided students with ways they could get more involved, creating a great networking experience.
Summits don't need to be all work and no play. At IYEYS, we ensure there are plenty of opportunities to have fun and meet other students. Here, a game of "The Blob" is being played after lunch. Things can get intense!

IYEYS will return in 2019, bigger and better, with a brand new name. Now known as the Empowered Young Environmentalist's Summit (EYES), our annual conference will recommence in New York City March 29 - 30, at the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers.


In May of 2018, Greening Forward was blessed with the chance to begin working with Perise Forbi, an inspiring young person from Buea, Cameroon. Perise came to us for help with empowering young people in his community to become change-makers in the environmental movement. With little pre-existing infrastructure in place for educating the public about environmental awareness, he had his work cut out for him.

Perise (second from the right) and his team.

Together, Greening Forward and Perise have been striving to accomplish that goal. Earth Saver Clubs have been set up at 8 schools across Buea, where hundreds of students have gotten their first exposure to some of the leading environmental problems. More importantly, they have learned more about the problems directly affecting their communities (such as plastic pollution) and about how they can help to remedy these problems. Perise and his team's work has helped establish several Earth Savers Club projects, which have helped to fundamentally change public perception about Cameroonians' role in their environment.

Earth Saver Club meetings, established in schools across Buea, were some of the first experiences some students had in learning about their role in sustainable living.
Students receiving Greening Forward's "Earth Savers Club Comic", an engaging story about young people who created the change they wanted to see in their community.
Some students in a local Earth Savers Club with artwork they hand-drew.

Below: Greening Forward teamed up with a local nonprofit named Beat the Bottle for a beach cleanup along the local coast. A team of 11 young people helped to clean up the hundreds of bottles lining the water, reducing the trash being carried out to the ocean and helping beautify the coast.

For more information on our Cameroon Program, click here!

Earth Savers Club

We have given out $4000 in grants to student groups in 2018, which has funded 8 different service projects. These projects help both the community and the students themselves, as they provide a service while also helping young people develop as leaders by being the main facilitators. Take a look at some of the projects the Earth Savers Club has funded in the past year.

Perise and his team receiving their Earth Savers Club Grant. The funding allowed them to purchase a laptop and projector for teaching in classrooms, and gave them the ability to travel and establish environmental clubs across Buea.

Below: Justin Sather led a two part project. He first led a number of his fellow classmates to his local Ballona Wetlands to cleanup the area, and with the help of park rangers taught them the ecological importance of wetlands. He then started a toothbrush recycling project, where he was able to collect a great deal of plastic toothbrushes from his school and spread awareness about plastic pollution. The toothbrushes were then reused in various art projects around his school.

Photos from Justin's Toothbrush and Cleanup projects

Moname Praise, a student in Cameroon, looked out into his community and decided that he wanted to make a change. There was too much litter in the streets, and not enough awareness about what could be done to fix it. He figured that the best way to address both issues was to hold a recycling contest, led by young people. Youth in his community were challenged to collect as much plastic as they could and clean up waste around their streets, with the winners being recognized at an award ceremony. Over 40 students participated; between these students, over 7000 plastic bottles were recycled, hundreds of pounds of trash was properly disposed of, and hundreds of people saw the young environmentalists cleaning up their town. The contest was the first of its kind in the entire country, and regional government officials are looking into ways to expand it into other cities.

The winners of the recycling contest, with Moname standing behind. Together these 4 incredible young people collected over 4000 plastic bottles.
Perise and a friend standing near some of the collected bottles.
Some participants cleaning up a ditch near a major road.
Moname and his family next to the bottles they collected.


We are constantly looking for new, innovative ways to connect with young people from around the world. In 2018, we tried doing this in two new ways: a student environmental blog contest, and a series of interactive videos created by our youth council.

Youth Council Vlogs

Each member of our youth council created a short educational video aimed at middle through high school-aged students which focuses on an important environmental topic. Videos issues range from Ocean Pollution to plastic-eating Waxworms. Click here to see more of their videos!

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