The SFUSD Sustainability Office is hosting a Youth Sustainability Summit, open to all middle and high school students. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the issues threatening the health of our planet, what other young people are doing to help, and how they can get involved. Students will also meet other youth with an interest in environmentalism. The event will feature speakers and interactive workshops regarding aspects of climate change, waste management, and pollution, and more!

Artwork by KYLE TREFNY

Who: Middle and high school students who want to learn more about or get involved in environmental work. Workshops are targeted for students ages 13-17, but younger grades are welcome.

When: Saturday, September 15th, 9:00 am-4:00 pm

Where: Downtown San Francisco (exact location will be announced to confirmed attendees)

Why: To build on the momentum from the Global Climate Action Summit, and provide ways for students to make a difference in their schools and communities.

Cost: FREE!

Click to view the schedule!

Youth Sustainability Summit Schedule - 1 pager.pdf


Jessian Choy

Jessian has researched how to trick people into trying new things since 1999. By day, she co-creates laws and contracts, and manages SF Approved, a site of green products she helped create at San Francisco Department of Environment. She also makes kits for Green Cities California to help anyone create green policies and programs. By night, she serves on the board of the Earth Island Institute, an organization who gives $3,000 to 13-22 year-olds via the David Brower Youth Award, and shares fun and draconian tricks for a happy, equitable, and green world, sometimes via public service announcements (disguised as dance videos, mad libs), and behavior change, negotiation and public speaking workshops.

Jessian's morning plenary will address how we can trick people to do good.


Implementing Sustainable Practices in Your School

Presenter: ​Max Chu from SOTA Environmental Club

This workshop is about the work that Schools Under 2C has done to make change to align their school with the goals of the Paris Accord. They have done so by looking at lighting, heating, composting, recycling, and transportation on campus. This workshop will discuss the work both Schools Under 2C and SOTA Environmental Club have done, as well as how to build a team and how this can be applicable in other schools.

Zero Waste and Marginalized Communities

Presenter: ​Dennis Uyat from Zero Waste Youth

Not many people know where their waste goes. Even less have a clear sense on how the processing of waste afflicts the health of communities. Zero Waste & Environmental Justice touches on the connections of the movement of waste, and how they disproportionately create public health impacts on communities of color using case studies in Southeast Los Angeles, Kettleman City, and others. This workshop will discuss the ramifications of how these structures came to be, and what might be done about it.

Communicating Sustainability to a Broader Audience

Presenter:​ Kristy Drutman, Digital Campaigner at

This workshop will discuss the ways that students can use their voice to speak out and teach others about climate related issues.

Reducing: The Number One Way to Slow Down Climate Change

Presenter: ​Josephina (Josie) Dominguez-Chand from the San Francisco Department of the Environment

This workshop will discuss the ways that we can help reduce our environmental impact through reduction of our consumption.

Using Your Skills and Interests to Make a Difference

Presenters: Kristen Tam from Lowell’s Eco Club and Kyle Trefny from SOTA Environmental Club

This workshop will discuss how young people can use their unique talents or interests to make positive change in order to protect our planet. This touches on using art as well as change in school, and focuses on how students can participate in writing legislation, and how this can help promote climate-positive policy.

Using Your Smartphone to Do Good

Presenter: Ellen Koivisto from Ruth Asawa School of the Arts

Smartphones, with their short lifespan and the harmful materials they are made of, have a pretty strong negative environmental impact. When used wisely, however,technology like this can be a powerful tool to create positive change. This workshop will talk about the ways that we can use the our smartphones to do good, by contacting legislators, engaging in citizen science, collecting ecosystem data, tracking non-native species or species in danger, participating in digital demonstrations, and more.

Young People Ending Racism in the Environmental Movement

Presenters: Mari Piggott and Avi Leung from Sustaining All Life

Young People are a revolutionary force and have been at the forefront of many important social movements; but racism divides young people from each other and limits our effectiveness as environmental organizers. This workshop will address the importance of doing personal healing work on the hurts of racism in order for all people to more effectively work together in a united environmental movement.

Empowering Youth Leaders in Ocean Conservation

Presenters: Aislinn Clark, Kiran Garewal, Elliot Johnston and Shay Barton from Heirs To Our Oceans

Heirs To Our Oceans are youth leaders who are dedicated to inspire awareness, responsibility and action amongst youth worldwide to protect the waters of our Blue Planet for them and for future generations. Four of our empowered youth leaders will speak in this workshop to bring together their studies of climate change, ocean acidification, governmental policy and how youth must be empowered to take action for the health of their generation.

Thank you to our SFUSD Summer Fellowship intern, Grace McGee! Grace is an 11th grader and the co-leader of the Environmental Club at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts. She has taken the lead on planning the Youth Sustainability Summit in an effort to bring together young leaders within SFUSD who have an interest in climate action and sustainability. Thank you Grace!