Colorado Rising and Partners Host Successful Youth Summit

Youth Summit Recap: Colorado Rising for Communities and Partners Helped Empower the Next Generation of Climate Leaders

On October 27th, 2023 Colorado Rising for Communities and several local partners held an exciting event to provide high school-aged youth with immersive learning experiences through student-led workshops, empowering resources, and a panel discussion of youth organizers.  The Youth Unity Rising Summit was a student-driven and community-led event which brought youth and community members together for a day-long summit to empower the next generation of leaders! 

Youth Summit Highlights:

Resource Fair 🤝: The day kicked off with a resource fair for students to engage with local community organizations providing resources, including service action, job, and internship opportunities. 

Youth Organizer Panel 👩🏽‍🤝‍👨🏼: Franklin Cruz provided an inspiring introduction which included a land acknowledgement and some poetry. Afterwards, Chenoa Francis moderated the panel. The Youth Organizer Panel Discussion included Amelia, Caden, and Beckett, students from one of our partner’s leadership team – Denver Public Schools Students for Climate Action. Luisa, another strong, natural leader and advocate for sexual health and gun violence prevention was also on the panel. They provided us with new perspectives and shared their advocacy experiences.

Student-Driven Workshops 👩🏼‍🏫: Workshops were co-hosted by Farah, Charlotte, Amelia, Clara, and Luisa, students from East, DCIS, and Conservatory Green. In the workshops, we learned why and how to engage in stewardship projects to protect the environment, how to become advocates, and the intersectionalities between climate and health. We discussed the importance of our mental, physical, and sexual health and how to find healing with our communities and Earth. 

Student Documentary Film Screening 🎥: The summit also screened “Elevating Voices”. Elevating Voices is a student-made documentary film produced by the Next 100 and the CSU Salazar Center about environmental justice and diverse voices in conservation spaces. 

Grounding Space 🧘: We appreciate and acknowledge the importance of having two of WellPower’s mental health professionals, Mercedez & Cassandra, who provided Grounding Spaces throughout the day. 


“The YURS was a phenomenal experience where I got to network, connect, and inspire diverse students from around Colorado! The youth panel, student-led workshop, EJ documentary, resource fair, and delicious food made a vivid, inclusive, hopeful space. I’m excited for DPSS4CA to co-host this summit for years to come!” — Amelia Fernández Rodríguez, Co-President of DPSS4CA

“Going to the YURS was incredible. It was like stepping into a whole new world of Climate activism and activists. I was able to see people and fellow kids from all over Denver and Colorado. It was a great opportunity and I look forward to doing more things like it in the future.” — Beckett N-G, Vice President of East High Sustainability Club

“The summit helped me see the world is much bigger than just me.” — Eshtolae, North Arvada Middle School


We are grateful for everyone who showed up as their authentic selves to share their knowledge and experience! We would like to extend our appreciation to all our partners, co-sponsors, and to Spirit of the Sun for providing students with Healing Food Bags. And we would like to thank our movement and community sponsors, the City of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency along with The Center on Colfax/Rainbow Alley for their unwavering support. 

Extending a final thank you to all who donated, CSU Spur, and our amazing food and drink vendors below! 

  • Ch’il Indigenous
  • Vegan Van
  • Next Level Burger 
  • The Creole Vegan 
  • Mujeres Emprendedoras 
  • Sexy Pizza 
  • Greens-N-Grains
  • Western Daughters Kitchen 
  • Guayaki
  • Liquid Death

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