Maine Environmental Changemakers

The Maine Environmental Changemakers network exists to connect young Mainers passionate about the environment and/or conservation with each other, with mentors, and with the resources and training they need to actualize their ideas in their home communities


Program Overview

The Maine Environmental Changemakers is a youth-led intergenerational network that connects young Mainers (ages 15-30) from diverse backgrounds who are passionate about the environment with peer mentors, and established professional mentors, in the sector. Changemakers provides the training and resources needed to support the environmental actions that participants organize in their communities. The Changemakers program commits to challenging traditional models of leadership, increasing innovation through dialogue, and crossing age and ability boundaries to develop a more inclusive and equitable environmental sector.

Changemakers is powerful today is because of the insight, innovation, and courage embodied in its youth-led design. Because of youth guidance Changemakers is 100% committed to building an empowering community for all. From a single event in 2016, the project has grown to a vibrant network where we provide training, networking events, share resources, a paide fellowship program, mentors, and resource support for participant's environmental community action projects. At Changemakers we believe that anyone can be an environmental Changemaker; everyone has a role to play in this work of building more resilient and equitable Maine communities. We are inviting people in to join the work and to bring their interests, knowledge, and skills to share. We encourage all participants to listen with an open heart and mind and to be willing to enter into conversations that may challenge their traditional practice. We challenge changemakers to move out of their comfort zones and into their learning and growth zones. Now, more than ever, we need to connect with one another across generations and difference to build our resources, our skills, our deep relationships and our sense of community to support and facilitate youth-led environmental action in Maine. Changemakers was founded in 2015 and is hosted by the Maine Environmental Education Association. Changemakers is developed in collaboration with youth changemakers, Maine Audubon, Cultivating Community, and UMaine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Tanglewood.

Youth co-develop and co-faciliatiate all aspects of this program, both in our internal function but also in our external programming, and have equal power in decision making.
— Olivia Griset, MEEA President

Guiding Principles and Core beliefs

There are a lot of important elements to Changemakers that makes it unique. The following are the guiding principles and core beliefs that underlie all programmatic decision making.

At Changemakers we are...

  • committed to a growth mindset

  • utilizing collaborative power to challenge norms and ask hard questions

  • dreaming big

  • facilitating intergenerational exchange of resources, support, and knowledge

  • youth led

  • building trust and meaningful connections with one another and our communities

  • developing a more inclusive and equitable environmental sector

  • inspiring change through deep empowerment

  • optimistic

  • building our skills and knowledge to be more effective, collaborative, and

  • compassionate environmental agents of change.


Current Strategic Priorities

Changemakers is in an exciting period of growth. Though it is only three years old, it has a solid and powerful foundation on which to build over the next three years. The following are the strategic goals for Changemakers in the next three years:

• Building a Strong Programmatic Foundation
• Creating Opportunities for Individual Empowerment
• Growing the Emerging Environmental Changemakers Network
• Challenging Norms and Creating New Paradigms

This program is made possible by generous contributions including from: