CEE-Change, Together Blog Series


CEE-Change, Together Blog Series

a group of people gathered in front of a speaker and a sign that reads We Are The Environment

Welcome to our blog series, CEE-Change, Together. In this series, the CEE-Change Fellows share how they implement their community action projects and work to strengthen environmental education and civic engagement capabilities, all supporting the mission of cleaner air, land, and water. Join us on their journey! NAAEE's Civics and Environmental Education (CEE) Change Fellowship supports leadership and innovation in civics and environmental education in North America and beyond. This ee360+ program is a partnership between NAAEE, U.S. EPA, and the Cedar Tree Foundation.

"Our first in-personal leadership training at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) and the COP28 in Dubai weren't just spectator events; they have been great catalysts for my growth and experience at a personal level and for outreach and impact, helping me spread the gospel of environmental stewardship in Uganda." (Class of 2023)

"I had vague ideas of expanding the scope of the program by training environmental educators and activists in India on how to implement the book-authoring program in their communities. But, with the enormous workload of the PhD I was doing, I felt my idea would just remain an amorphous dream. That’s when the CEE-Change Fellowship came in." (Class of 2023)

"I am profoundly honored to have been selected as a 2023 CEE-Change Fellow. Through my Community Action Project, I devised a leadership and training workshop, which has not only kindled hope and ignited passion in individuals who participated in our workshop but also equipped and empowered changemakers across the country to leverage environmental education and civic engagement for driving climate action." (Class of 2023)

"As an educator, I wanted to break down climate change into manageable chunks for my students and place them in the driver’s seat as changemakers. As I was formulating this plan, I read about the CEE-Change Fellowship and knew it would be the perfect incubator for my idea. Attending the fellowship and meeting the fabulous professionals in my cohort has given me a tangible goal to work towards and a group of friends to share the journey." (Class of 2023)

"The CEE-Change Fellowship is all about seeing change together. It is amazing to watch Fellows from around the world lead programs, try new things, and embark on groundbreaking work. We are seeing change happen. But we are also seeing change within and among ourselves. " (Class of 2023)

"Building capacity begins with providing opportunities for community members to learn about and discuss complex concerns around land use and water quality that address a blend of environmental, social, and economic matters. Deliberative dialogue forums are where civic education (the first C and last E in CEE Change) winds its roots into issues of environmental concern." (Class of 2021)

"As a young environmental student, long before I was a CEE-Change Fellow, I enjoyed and valued the mentors who supported my growth. But as I developed my own career path, I realized that I did not see a reflection of myself, a Latina, in any of my mentors. I thought about the tremendous impact it could have on a young person’s passion to see someone who looks like them or represents them pursue and succeed in mutual dreams. As part of my CEE-Change Fellowship, I created environmental education programming that is equitable, culturally sustaining, and welcoming to students. " (Class of 2021) 

"Thanks to the great opportunity to be part of the CEE-Change Fellowship and receive an NAAEE mini-grant, it was possible to continue our awareness campaign and connect virtually with 103 students and their families (405 people in total) in Cancún Mexico to create awareness about the plastic pollution problem we face in our coastal and marine ecosystems." (Class of 2021)

"I hoped that being part of the CEE-Change Fellowship would allow me to discover ways to inspire students to take a more active role in their communities. I’ve always believed in hands-on, project-based learning, and I’ve had my classes become involved in community-based science. What I did not expect was to make a fundamental shift in my way of teaching." (Class of 2021)

"I needed something that would be practical for mobilizing volunteers as a resource for this important work. Thanks to the CEE-Change Fellowship, the ‘Climate Conversations’ initiative was born out of the importance of—and barriers to—talking about climate change. This project found ways to help volunteers broach and navigate conversations about climate change and really any uncomfortable topic." (Class of 2021) 

"As part of the CEE-Change Fellowship, I used the Know, Wonder, and Learn framework to explore the natural intersection of place-based learning and civic engagement. Our small school is just one microcosm in the larger community that is Bangor, but through hands-on learning and community service, we devised two distinct community service projects to carry out over the course of the school year. In an end-of-year survey, one parent shared: “The daily forays into the community and time spent in nature has cemented his understanding of his role in the world and how he can make a positive impact.” I couldn’t agree more." (Class of 2021)

"Participants spent a week learning about how Lexington manages waste, sanitary sewers, stormwater, and transportation. Funding from the CEE-Change Fellowship and a partner grant from the Sierra Club
allowed us to travel to West Palm Beach, Florida, to learn how their community manages those same resources. With this exchange of ideas, these young men are doing what adults do all the time: immersing themselves in other communities to learn best practices to take back home. None of this would have been possible without the unique NAAEE CEE-Change Fellowship." (Class of 2021) 

"My project brought together a group of six 6–12 grade students as our Groundwater Guardians youth volunteer cohort, where the students developed and led projects related to groundwater in our community and how they could make a change. Being able to have these meaningful experiences for youth to both see themselves as changemakers now, as well as to set them up with skills and experiences that will support them in the future, has been a major highlight for me." (Class of 2021)

"For as long as I can remember, I have loved nature and the outdoors. The CEE-Change Fellowship catalyzed the Neighbor2Neighbor project. An environmental education and civic engagement project to surface community funds of knowledge about the practices and politics of placemaking and to identify barriers and opportunities through a dialogic inquiry lens with a goal of transitioning towards sustainability. Simply said, the goal is for people to convert their grassy lawns into sustainable yards, and understand the best way to make that happen." (Class of 2021) 

"Since the earliest human communities, water has always been a place of community and inspiration. Water is my inspiration for the work I am doing within the H2Our project. In my CEE-Change Fellowship project, I teamed up with 5waraj, re-activated traditional knowledge, and gathered traditional wisdom on the use and appreciation of water. In doing so, we collected stories from community elders and shared those with younger generations, encouraging them to do the same with their elders and creating public awareness towards a more sustainable use of water." (Class of 2021)

"We shut down the town’s main thoroughfare, and 400 students and teachers walked to the Green, where we educated and entertained them with speeches and booths from about 40 different local and national non-profits and student exhibits and trained students from a number of schools in northwest Connecticut to write climate action plans. The work wasn’t just ‘student centered’—it was truly a community working together based on shared concern and a desire to do good, and it felt more real than anything I've done in education for the last 20 years. It changed me as a teacher and as a person." (Class of 2021)

"During the past several years, clear needs had emerged in the watershed I lived and worked in. Through the CEE-Change Fellowship, I’ve been able to support students exploring careers in chemistry and water resources by partnering on the H2O Q program for middle schoolers with our Environmental Education Lending Station to help us build a pipeline between youth living with environmental injustice and the stable, good-paying, community-serving blue and green jobs that were needed in those same communities. " (Class of 2021)

"I feel like we made a lot of good changes that are going to stay at our school and reduce food in the long term. I'm hoping that our pilot of the Food Share table will go to the other middle schools and my last school, so I think that those are kind of long-term changes that we'll see in the school district through this CEE-Change Fellowship project." (Class of 2021)