The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment
George Mason University along with distinguished partners the National Geographic Society and the National Zoo is proud to host the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment (WYSE). This summer the WYSE welcomes 250 High School National Youth Delegates from all over the country. National Youth Delegates join the Mason community, which includes students and faculty from all over the world. Mason is both the largest public university in Virginia and one of the most culturally diverse universities in the nation.
George Mason University is setting the gold standard for the modern, public university. Its dynamic culture and innovative academic programs prepare Mason’s hard-working students for 21st century careers. Its commitment to teaching excellence combines with cutting-edge research that enriches the academic experience and is literally changing the world. Mason is affordable, yet offers high value. Ideally located in the National Capital region, students enjoy terrific cultural experiences and access to the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.
Mason attracts proven and innovative leaders in conservation, climate change, and the environment. Faculty members have developed the WYSE curriculum to suit the needs and potential of the nation’s most talented future leaders in the field. Curriculum includes hands-on learning with industry leaders, not only from Mason, but from international conservation experts and Washington insiders. High School National Youth Delegates will experience an integrated and forward-thinking approach to the environment, while acquiring valuable "in-the-trenches" knowledge.
Forrest Pritchard, Farmer and Writer, Smith Meadows Farm
Forrest Pritchard is a full-time farmer, holding degrees in English and Geology from the College of William and Mary. His farm Smith Meadows was one of the first “grass finished” farms in the country, and has sold at leading farmers’ markets in Washington DC for more than fifteen years. Forrest’s book Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm was named a Top Read by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post and NPR’s The Splendid Table.
Forrest’s next book, Growing Tomorrow, is slated for release in August 2015, from the award-winning press The Experiment.
"I learned that our climate and environment are at a very fragile state. It is our generation's responsibility to take action to reduce our carbon footprint by making small changes that may lead to big reward. We all need to work together to save what we know and love, because someday, it may all be gone. I've always had a passion for the environment and keeping it clean and sustainable. However, the Summit greatly increased my awareness for the issues going on today, and allowed me to connect with others that shared the same passion."
"Actually, the biggest lesson [from WYSE] was about my attitude, it wasn't even what the summit was about (sure, I got a [lot] of information from the summit itself, thank you! But this one was bigger). It changed how I thought throughout the whole trip, and even [back at home]."