Humanities Guåhan is pleased to announce the return of our locally and nationally recognized outdoor youth initiative, Taking Root: Growing Youth Empowerment for Island Sustainability – a program for at-risk Guam public middle school students who trace their heritage to Guam, the CNMI, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Marshall Islands. The program will connect a cohort of 30 CHamoru and Micronesian youth from underserved communities in Guam with scientists, environmentalists, humanists, and traditional experts. The Taking Root program promotes physical activity, civic engagement, and greater cultural and ecological awareness while encouraging diverse islander youth to share their knowledge and to work collaboratively and creatively to identify challenges and solve problems caused by cultural and environmental change

First launched in 2018 with funding from the U.S. Department of the Interior, the 2022 summer program is funded in part by the Governor of Guam’s Education Assistance and Youth Empowerment grant program. With this funding, we are able to offer a cohort of thirty youth from underserved communities in Guam a rigorous educational program that focuses on the natural and cultural resources of Guam and Micronesia, environmental stewardship, climate change, capacity building, and life-skills development, as well as meaningful cross-cultural exchange.

The Taking Root program has three main components – the first is a rigorous six-week summer curriculum tentatively scheduled for June 20 through July 29, that will include classroom instruction, cultural and creative workshops, hikes and farm visits, snorkeling, film, and discussion events, and clean up and restoration activities. During the summer program, participating youth will identify local and regional challenges that have emerged due to climate change and define their vision for a youth-led response. From August through November, the participants will work collectively, conduct their own research, and design an outreach and action plan to involve peers in longer-term community-based projects, which is the second project component. These projects will be presented at our Youth Sustainability Conference to be held in December 2022 that will be developed, produced, promoted, and facilitated by the Taking Root students. The Conference, the third and final project component, will provide an opportunity for students to share their experiences and community action plans with their peers, as well as with experts whom we have partnered with for the Taking Root program.

The 2022 Taking Root— Growing Youth Empowerment for Island Sustainability is made possible with funding from the Governor of Guam’s Education Assistance and Youth Empowerment grant program and our generous community partners. If you or your organization would like to help Humanities Guåhan in presenting this important youth empowerment program, please contact our Executive Director, Kimberlee Kihleng at kkihleng@humanitiesguahan.org

For more information on the 2018 Taking Root– Growing Youth Empowerment for Island Sustainability program, click here.

Click the links below to view images from the 2018 Taking Root initiative
Culture and Environment Immersive Camp
Community Action Plans
Youth Sustainability Conference