project leader
Jonathan S
1455 West 29th Street
(Northeast Ohio - Virtual)
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the project

The NEO Youth Climate Future Forum was born out of the need to educate, empower and mobilize a Northeast Ohio regional youth climate network to create change both on an individual and systemic level. The Forum will focus on the education of climate change with cross-cutting themes of equity, environmental justice, and social justice at the forefront. The broader Forum’s mission and focus is to “educate to activate and activate to lead.”

The Forum will be composed of young people aged 13-29 years old (high school through application age limit for the Global Shapers Community) with the goal of 300 attendees representing Cuyahoga County and the contiguous six counties. Attendees will register in advance through a model that indicates their interest and dedication level and also ensures diverse and equitable recruitment across the region. While originally planned as a multi-day gathering in the Fall of 2020 at Tinkham Veale University Center at Case Western Reserve University, due to Covid-19, the Forum is now transitioning to a virtual day-long event on October 17 with optional additional sessions on October 16 and 18, with a corresponding follow-up event to be planned either in-person or virtually in the Spring of 2021. The Forum will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, breakout workshops, trainings, and a career exposure and job opportunities component.

The Global Shapers Cleveland Hub, along with other advisory partners, will provide expert guidance, mentorship, and experience on climate change educational content, activism, policy tools and actions, as well as manage the event planning and logistics.

Donations though this campaign will be used to support our Climate Action Youth Project Fund and to provide remote attendance locations. The Project Fund provides attendees resources and mentorship opportunities to realize their ideas and impact their communities, while remove access locations will support youth who do not have access to a computer or internet, making sure that the Forum is open to any youth who are passionate about this topic.

the steps

Leading up to the Forum, we continue to engaged with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Black Environmental Leaders, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cuyahoga Community College, MyCom, City Club of Cleveland, and GLEECon. However, a core component of the planning process has been facilitating youth town halls where attendees can share their concerns, passions, and goals about climate change, helping us craft a Forum that will be meaningful and impactful. We have engaged with high school and college students accross Cuyahoga County, including students in Shaker Heights, Cleveland Heights, Western Reserve Academy, Normandy High School, Fairview High School, and Case Western Reserve University, so they can guide what they want to learn, offer, and take away from the Forum. Prior to the pandemic, we were finalizing an ESL town hall specifically for immigrant and refugee students which incorporated foreign language support. Though access to CMSD students has proven difficult in recent months, we are committed to reaching as many young people as possible. In recent weeks, we have conducted a series of virtual town halls and plan to engage youth through existing youth leadership networks within Cleveland.

During the Forum, we will foster an informative, inspirining, and collaborative environment that will catalyze students behind impactful, disruptive goals that can be immediately converted to projects with the support of our exeprt advisors and the Student Project Fund. Through a system of mentorship and intentionality, attendees will be encouraged and aided so that they realize the goals of their projects, ensuring the Forum has an actual, material impact in our communities. Projects will novel, achievable concepts with a focus on recurring, prolonged impact.


why we're doing it

About 50% of the world’s population is under the age of 25. The potential for impact is significant if we can elevate the voices and needs of this demographic. With a focus on environmental justice and accessibility, the Forum can help engage young people throughout NEO in a way that has never been done. With a focus on action and impact, we can ensure that the time spent collaborating has real meaning, and we can empower youth to have a say in one of the most important aspects of their futures - the world in which they want to live.


Donations will fund two components of the Forum - the Student Project Fund and youth support resources.

Student Project Fund: This fund will serve as a source of seed money for projects born out of collaboration during the Forum. Using a rolling application process, teams will pitch projects to a review committee which will evaluate the projects based on set criteria.

  • Project must have a novel, achievable goal
    • In the event a pitch duplicates exisintg work being performed, the review committee can direct students to existing grants, resources, and other available support
  • Project must have a defined timeline and budget
  • Emphasis on recurring or prolonged impact instead of  a one time event or singular outcome
  • Emphasis on funding young people from schools with limited resources and support over schools that have access to substantial support, resources, and funds through their community

If selected, the project will receive funds and support up front. Students will submit progress reports and will have access to mentorship throughout the duration of the project.

Youth support resources: Two of the primary tenets of the Forum are equity and accesibility. To overcome the digital access gap, we are securing spaces where students can safely access the virtual event. Funding used for youth support resources will be used to acquire these spaces and provide attendees with basics such as food, drinks, and other miscellaneous supplies such as pens and educational items.


ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,345
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  


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