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Celebrating the Successes of the '23-24 High School Leadership Committee

The Everglades Foundation's High School Leadership Committee has wrapped up another remarkable school year filled with impactful activities and significant accomplishments.


The 2023-24 school year was marked by a series of in-person initiatives and events in committee members’ local communities to make a difference and raise youth voices for the Everglades. Their achievements showcased the young leaders’ dedication and passion towards restoring and protecting the Everglades.  


At the beginning of the year, the members set strategic goals. They sought to actively participate in local events and projects to foster a deeper connection with their community.  


They also collaborated with local experts and organizations to enhance their knowledge, amplify concerns and solutions proposed by youth voices, and gain valuable insights about the complexities and challenges involved in Everglades restoration.  


Let’s take a moment to reflect on their journey and celebrate their accomplishments! 


Throughout the year, committee members had numerous opportunities to engage directly with the Everglades and related activities.  


Students participated in an invasive plant removal and ethnobotany tour at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, where they had hands-on experience in managing invasive species and learning about native plants.  


Students also had the opportunity to attend Everglades Literacy Teacher Trainings with the Education team to deepen their understanding of the ecosystem, They also experienced seine fishing, and participated in swamp tromps, including one with Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management. 


The students met their goals to collaborate with the local community by raising awareness and educating the public about the Everglades at events such as Manatee Fest at Manatee Lagoon and the Frost Science Museum Earth Day event. 


Individual members of the committee made a difference in their communities and environment in unique and meaningful ways. 


Nikolai Dutkewych raised awareness about sustainability by presenting at the Palm Beach County School District Board Meeting, advocating for sustainable practices in the county. 


Jasmine Thelamont developed and planned programming to encourage participation of people of color in outdoor activities, promoting inclusivity in nature exploration. 


Sofia Kaynor conducted a survey to assess fellow students’ knowledge about the Everglades, created informative announcements, and organized a Green Day dedicated to the Everglades at her school. 


Ciera Westenberger and Ocean Lewis organized an Everglades Awareness Week at their school, engaging students in learning and advocacy activities. 


Nuha Rahman and Claire Mierau helped with Earth Day tabling events, educating peers and community members through their youth voices for the Everglades. 


Madeleine DeFilippo delivered Everglades Literacy presentations to major clubs at her school, raising awareness on the demand for an Environmental Club for her campus.


Looking ahead 


The dedication and accomplishments of the High School Leadership Committee members this year made a difference in their communities and set a strong foundation for future leaders. Their work highlights the critical role of youth in environmental advocacy and restoration efforts. As we celebrate their successes, we also look forward to seeing how they will continue to champion the importance of the Everglades in the years to come. 



Congratulations to The Everglades Foundation’s High School Leadership Committee for a truly impactful year! Your hard work and passion are inspiring, and vital to the ongoing efforts to restore and protect one of the world’s most unique and precious ecosystems. 

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