Leading Environmental Education Organization Recognizes 30 Young Trailblazers with a Global Award




Press Release

Contact: Stacie Pierpoint | stacie@naaee.org | (202) 277-6582


Leading Environmental Education Organization Recognizes 30 Young Trailblazers with a Global Award 

The North American Association for Environmental Education Announces its 2020 EE 30 Under 30 Awardees 

[Washington, D.C., September 8, 2020] The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is proud to announce its fifth class of 30 leaders under age 30 who are using environmental education to build sustainable and equitable communities around the world. 

From healing-centered outdoor education for youth of incarcerated parents in Texas to sustainable rice production in Taiwan, these leaders are using environmental education to address complex sustainability issues in their communities around the world. The awardees in this year’s EE 30 Under 30 Class of 2020 range in age from 13 to 30, and include social entrepreneurs, artists, researchers, and educators from 14 countries.

The Class of 2020 will join the global EE 30 Under 30 community of leaders, and will receive ongoing support to expand their impact through networking, peer mentoring, professional development, and grant opportunities. All recipients will receive a fully-funded scholarship to attend the NAAEE Annual Conference, taking place virtually this year from October 13–16.

Since 2016, NAAEE's EE 30 Under 30 program has recognized 150 individuals from 34 countries who are making a difference through environmental education. This program is made possible by Wells Fargo, the Global Environmental Education Partnership, and the U.S. Forest Service.

“Wells Fargo is proud to support these young leaders, who are thoughtfully and creatively promoting workable strategies for creating a healthier, brighter, and more sustainable future,” said Mary Wenzel, head of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Wells Fargo. “We are inspired by their passion and pleased to help share their ideas on the global stage.”

Two EE 30 Under 30 alumni share the impact the award has had on their work: "EE 30 Under 30 has shown me that my network is my net worth. It has opened my eyes to new opportunities and helped me to improve my work and believe more in myself,” says Mariam Kabamba Merry (DRC, 2019). “I am able to contribute more knowledge and skills back to my country to create greater impact among the local community,” says Jo Leen Yap (Malaysia, 2018).

Executive Director of NAAEE Judy Braus says, “We can’t address today's complex challenges in an equitable manner without the talent and innovation of diverse cultural backgrounds, perspectives, and disciplines. These leaders exemplify the incredible passion, creativity, and impact of young people who are taking action and inspiring others to build a more just and greener future. We are thrilled to welcome the Class of 2020 to the impressive EE 30 Under 30 community.”

Learn more about this year’s winners, listed below, by reading their biographies on our website: naaee.org/ee30under30

Aadya Joshi, 17, India

Amarachukwu Ifeji, 18, USA

Aminat Damilola Adeyemi, 30, Nigeria

Amishi Parasrampuria, 29, India

Anthony Ochieng, 30, Kenya

Ben Steele Berger, 28, UK

Brianna Amingwa, 27, USA

Czarina S. Constantino, 29, Philippines

Emily Cunningham, 30, UK

Fontoh Desmond Abinwi, 28, Cameroon

Isabella Villanueva, 26, Chile

Jeran Lin, 30, Taiwan

Joan Chepkoech Tonui, 26, Kenya

John Carl T. Alonsagay, 24, Philippines

Ki’Amber Thompson, 24, USA

Lalita Gopaul, 25, Guyana

Madeleine Orr, 27, USA

Marcus Rosten, 26, USA

Malanie Quiñones Santiago, 22, USA

Monika Egerer, 29, Germany

Mridul Bora, 29, India

Olivia Walton, 29, USA

Oluwafolajimi Adesanya, 22, Nigeria

Orlanda Anaya, 27, Mexico

Rachel Lang, 28, USA

Sainath Manikandan, 13, United Arab Emirates

Sam Loni, 28, USA

Sarah Jane Brady, 26, Malta

Steven Setiawan, 21, Indonesia

Symone Barkley, 30, USA



For almost five decades, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) has served as the professional association, champion, and backbone organization for the field of environmental education (EE), working with EE professionals across United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as globally, to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement to create a more equitable and sustainable future. For more information on NAAEE, visit https://naaee.org.