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Applicants Sought for GASP's ‘Fresh Voices for Clean Air’ Youth Education Initiative

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

GASP is seeking Allegheny County students in grades 9, 10, and 11 interested in becoming environmental game-changers. If that sounds like you or someone you know, we invite you to apply today for an innovative new program called Fresh Voices for Clean Air.

For the second year, GASP is partnering with Greater-Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP), a non-profit organization working in the greater-Birmingham area in Alabama to advance healthy air and environmental justice through education, advocacy, and organizing.

“Like us, they strive to reduce air pollution, educate the public on the health risks associated with poor air quality, and encourage community leaders to serve as role models for clean air and clean energy development,” Patrick Campbell said. “We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with our friends in Birmingham and can’t wait to see what the students come up with this time.”

Interested? Here’s how Fresh Voices for Clean Air works:

GASP will pair a small group of high school students in Allegheny County with a group of their peers in Birmingham, Ala. for a school year-long collaborative partnership. Throughout 2022-23, the cohorts in each city will meet virtually to participate in discussions with both each other and guest speakers. The team will learn more about air quality while building the skills necessary to become effective environmental advocates.

By the end of the program year, the team will have created, developed, and executed an air quality-related project of their own choosing, with the support of adult mentors in both Pittsburgh and Birmingham. And that’s not all: Upon successful completion of the program year, participants will earn a $100 award.

GASP Air Quality Educator Laura Kuster said she was impressed by last year’s participants not only for their great work but their passion for and commitment to environmental advocacy.

“The students loved hearing from a wide variety of guest speakers, and those speakers valued interacting with the students even more,” GASP educator Laura Kuster said. “It’s inspiring to engage in conversations about air quality and the environment with our Fresh Voices participants, and I often think back to their perspectives and insights while doing my work.”

GASP Birmingham Executive Director Michael Hansen said he looks forward to seeing what this year’s program brings.

“We are so excited to work with students in the Birmingham and Pittsburgh areas through Fresh Voices. This program creates an opportunity for young people impacted by air pollution to collaborate and find common ground. Together, we’re going to learn about air pollution and environmental health, share our stories, and craft solutions to the problems facing our communities.”

The program will run through the 2022-23 academic year and is open to students in grades 9, 10, and 11 who attend school in either Allegheny County or Jefferson County, Ala. Students must be willing and able to participate in Fresh Voices for Clean Air until the end of the school year in May 2023 to be considered. Participants will need access to a laptop or desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone to take part in virtual meetings, as well as written consent from a parent or guardian.

The deadline to apply is Monday, Sept. 12. You can apply here.

Have questions or need more information before committing to the program? Learn more and introduce yourself to program advisors starting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1.

The Fresh Voices for Clean Air initiative was made possible by funding through the Grable Foundation.

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