Professor of Education and Director of the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute (ESSYI) Jim MaKinster discussed the ESSYI program and the importance of youth education and leadership development in environmental studies, during an interview with The Sanctuary for Independent Media, a community media project based in Troy, N.Y.
The interview, which broadcast on WOOC FM 105.3 radio, was conducted by Anna Steltenkamp, a 2016 graduate of the ESSYI program. Steltenkamp is an undergraduate at Duke University and an intern for The Sanctuary for Independent Media.
During the interview, MaKinster explained how a core part of the ESSYI program encourages students to consider how they can make a tangible impact on the world around them. “We’re really thinking about how can we cultivate young leaders. What does leadership look like? What does it look like in the context of climate change? We’re seeing many great examples. Students are realizing that they can have an impact and that they can make change happen,” MaKinster told Steltenkamp.
MaKinster also discussed the significance of ESSYI’s interdisciplinary framework, how youth are often unfairly underestimated and the importance of making connections to the natural world.
ESSYI is a two-week program in which high school students engage in collaborative environmental problem-solving on the HWS campus and in the Adirondacks. Through coursework with members of the HWS faculty, students explore the scientific, social and humanistic perspectives of environmental issues while earning a college credit. This year, the program was offered through a remote learning model.
Listen to the full interview here.