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Federal agency, Maine nonprofit partner to engage youth in disaster planning and recovery

Leia Lowery, Deputy Director and Head of Programs and Partnerships for The Climate Initiative Team (second from left), Marcus Coleman, Jr. of FEMA (third from left) and the rest of the TCI team.
The Climate Initiative
Leia Lowery, Deputy Director and Head of Programs and Partnerships for The Climate Initiative Team (second from left), Marcus Coleman, Jr. of FEMA (third from left) and the rest of the TCI team.

A new partnership between The Climate Initiative, a nonprofit based in Kennebunkport, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will ensure youth voices are included in disaster planning and recovery.

Jono Anzalone, Executive Director of TCI, says the 13 to 23-year-olds who make up The Climate Initiative want to be heard in decisions that affect their futures.

"With the high interest of youth regarding climate change, they need to be at the table when fundamental questions are being asked about community rebuilding," Anzalone said. "Whether or not the community is going to build back the same or in a way that forego some of the risk we are seeing as a result of climate change."

TCI will provide youth engagement and recruitment for FEMA's Stories of Resilience Program and Youth Preparedness Council. TCI will also address mental health topics for young people who are anxious about climate change.

Marcus Coleman, Department of Homeland Security Director for Neighborhood Partnerships for FEMA, announced the partnership at TCI’s 3rd Annual Climate Educators Retreat hosted at The Ecology School this summer.