Nominations and applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Brookie Awards, an awards program focused on elevating the voices and work of the rising generation of environmental leaders in Maine. A diverse group of six young changemakers are honored every two years for their demonstrated leadership, creativity, collaboration, and impact for a cleaner, healthier Maine environment.

Nominations and applications for the 2022 “school” of Brookie Award winners are now being accepted through Feb. 14. Mainers are encouraged to apply or nominate eligible young leaders who live in Maine and are between the ages of 15 and 30 at www.brookieawards.org.

The Brookie Awards are organized by NRCM Rising, the young member arm of Maine’s leading environmental group, the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM). The first “school” of six Brookie Award winners, a geographically diverse group including students, artists, and scientists, was announced in 2020.

“As a Brookie Award winner, I was able to connect to a variety of other youth environmental leaders, participate in retreats and professional development, and connect with multiple organizations,” said 2020 Brookie Award winner Gabby Hillyer. “More than the building of that network, the Brookie Award remains one of the most important benchmarks in my career, as a signal that I am moving forward as a leader in my field.”

Brookie Award winners will receive a $2,000 cash prize, professional storytelling training, a professional video about their work, and the opportunity to attend a nature-based retreat with their fellow young environmental changemakers where they will participate in skill-building sessions and engage with other environmental and political leaders in Maine.

NRCM Rising will celebrate and honor the Brookie Award winners at a major gala event in Spring 2022 that will feature short, inspirational speeches from each awardee. Videos will also be produced to feature the unique perspective and voice of each winner.

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“Young activists should apply for a Brookie Award as a chance to showcase the important work they’ve done in the state and gain access to resources that will improve their communication skills and ability to lead more effectively,” said 2020 Brookie Award winner Riley Stevenson. “For any young person looking for recognition for an exciting but isolated project, this is a great chance to bring those projects to a bigger stage and gain valuable insight about what makes a successful group and leader. Additionally, it’s just fun!”

NRCM Rising will convene a group of external reviewers to evaluate Brookie Award applicants based on the following four criteria:

• Outstanding leadership in creating, organizing, and implementing a project or campaign to protect or improve Maine’s environment;
• Turning individual passion into collective action by getting their peers involved in their project or campaign;
• Creativity, collaboration, and persistence in bringing new ideas to existing challenges, introducing new approaches to organizing others, or determination to prevail in the face of obstacles; and
• Overall positive impact for Maine’s environment.

The Brookie Awards are made possible by the early partnership of the Quimby Family Foundation. To learn more about the Brookie Awards visit: www.brookieawards.org/

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