• Yellowwood Youth Bloomington, Indiana

Project Green Challenge

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

You can listen to this post on our Youtube Channel, here.

Today's topic is near and dear for Yellowwood Youth. It's the whole reason we exist!

Project Green Challenge, or PGC, is a global environmental educational challenge that pushes students to educate themselves on topics surrounding the environment and take action within their community. In 2019, I participated and made it to the finals in San Francisco, California, were I fully fell in love with environmentalism, sustainability, and non-profit work. Yellowwood Youth started as a Climate Action Project for the PGC Finals, and has blossomed into something far larger.

Let's talk experience. I can easily say that Project Green Challenge changed my life, and everyone who knows me knows I took a hard turn right, threw myself into the challenges, and never looked back. Each challenge brought me back to my love for learning (I had lost it sometime during Sophomore Year of High School), and I solidified my aspirations and college ideas. At the finals, I was the happiest I had ever been, in one of the most beautiful places I had ever been, with a group of people I would come to consider like family, and I couldn't wait to get going on all of my ideas.

On Day 8 of PGC 2019, Soil, our task was to create a teaching tool that would educate a certain audience and convey the importance of soil health. To some, this may sound boring, but I was enchanted by soil. I found a way to connect things that I loved- teaching others, working with children, and environmental advocacy- and condense them in one action. I painted a sign (the lettering could've used a bit more work) that outlined the process of carbon sequestration and photosynthesis, a topic in the 4th-6th grade science lessons, and offered it to Beth Smith, the head of the Child's Elementary Garden Club. If you pass by Child's in the Spring, you may just see it standing in the garden.

These little impacts matter. Education and activism have to go hand in hand. One without the other is meaningless. In most ways, educating others is a form of activism, and I know that that sign I made will be read by hundreds of students, and potentially inspire them. It wasn't the best sign. It wasn't the prettiest. But with 24 hours to make a teaching tool, I was able to create a product and put it in a place where it had the opportunity to have an impact. If that could be done in 24 hours, what can be done in a month? A year?

This is a video from the PGC Finals where I shared the main parts of my PGC experience and my vision for what is now Yellowwood Youth. I am not afraid to admit that I was a little wrong in parts of this video. Since this presentation, I have learned so much about the environmental space locally and around the state and we have shifted our goals to be what we think is the most successful, most beneficial resource we can be.

Project Green Challenge made the possibilities seem endless, the opportunities to do more just an inch away from my fingertips, and opened my mind to so many more topics around sustainability and activism. If you are in High School or College, I would very highly recommend signing up for PGC and giving it a whirl this October!


Here is the Caption from our 100 Days to PGC Instagram Post for more information on the challenge:

"What is Project Green Challenge?:

Hosted by nonprofit organization Turning Green, “PGC is a 30 day call to action to inform, inspire, and mobilize high school + college students globally, from October 1-30 to transition from conventional to conscious.” -@turninggreenorg


What is it like?:

Every day there is a new challenge on an environmentally related topic, ranging from your personal footprint 👣 to social and racial justice 🗣. There are three levels to complete, Green, Greener, & Greenest. First, you learn about the topic, then you put that knowledge to use by completing an activity at each of the levels that promotes positive change. You earn points for each activity level you submit.


Is it a huge commitment?:

It can be, but you set your own level of involvement! You can complete every challenge + level or just log on to read the introduction & learn something new about a topic you aren’t as familiar with. Don’t feel pressured to be perfect or overwork yourself. The goal is to push yourself to learn & build confidence in your ability to contribute to positive change!

Sign up. Show up. Make change.


What do you earn for completing the challenges? What happens at the end of October?:

Each day you have a chance to earn prizes by submitting the challenges. Turning Green’s partners give out items like the @kleankanteenwater bottle + @acurebeautyshampoo I earned in PGC 2019!

Things may change due to the situation with COVID-19, but at the end of PGC, finalists are chosen and flown out to a four day Finals event in San Francisco, CA! The Champion receives $5000 + each finalist receives a prize package & a group of lifelong friends!


Did you know?:

@yellowwoodyouth started as a Climate Action Project for PGC!

Project Green Challenge can be a life changing experience. My career path has done a 180, I have a renewed love for learning, & I have met an amazing group of people that are my support system, my friends, + my mentors.

Sign up through the Turning Green website.

Any questions-ask away!

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