Brower Youth Awards

The 2024 Brower Youth Awards application is closed.



Earth Island Institute established the Brower Youth Awards for Environmental Leadership in 2000 to honor renowned environmental advocate David Brower, who said, “I love to see what young people can do, before someone old tells them it’s impossible.” It is with this spirit that we recognize the outstanding leadership efforts of young people who are working for the protection of our shared planet.


Youth environmental change leaders ages 13 to 22 (as of April 8, 2024) living in North America (including Mexico, Canada, and some Caribbean Islands) and U.S. territories are encouraged to apply. Our 2024 Brower Youth Awards application opened January 8th. Our application deadline for submission is Monday, April 8, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. The link to the application is at the bottom of this page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates.

Award Details

Each of this year’s six recipients of the Brower Youth Awards will receive a $3,000 cash prize, a short film produced about their work, and flight and lodging accommodations for a weeklong trip to the San Francisco Bay Area.

During their stay in California, the recipients will participate in leadership activities and workshops on coaching, visioning, public speaking and developing media relations. The week of activities culminates in the awards ceremony. The Brower Youth Awards program invests in the winners’ continued success by providing ongoing access to resources, mentors, and opportunities to develop leadership skills.

Application Process

All applications must be completed using our online process. Please notify us well in advance of the deadline if you foresee any problems with submitting an application online.

You must complete your own application. Parents, friends, mentors, teachers, etc. must not complete it for you.

In addition to meeting award eligibility requirements and following all instructions to complete the online application, each applicant must submit:

  • a photograph of yourself
  • if you are a semifinalist, you will be asked for a letter of support from someone who is familiar with you and your environmental work (cannot be from a parent or guardian)

Please contact us well in advance of the deadline for support with the submission of your application or clarifying questions by emailing Applications submitted after the deadline due to technical issues will not be accepted.

We review all applications and a panel of judges vets all semi-finalists. If you are selected as a semi-finalist, we will request a video call with you, along with the letter of support from your recommender. All Brower Youth Award applicants will be notified of their status.

What We Look For

Applicants are assessed on the following criteria:

Outstanding Youth Leadership

You played the major leadership role in creating, organizing and implementing your project or campaign(s).

Issue & Approach

Your project is applying fresh solutions and approaches to relevant environmental challenges.

Project Impact, Scalability, & Replicability

Is the project’s impact significant? Can your work be used as a model for other communities or campuses?

Charisma, Personal Commitment, & Trajectory

What draws you to this work? What would winning a Brower Youth Award mean to you?


A Few Tips


The Brower Youth Awards are looking to recognize the leader of a group or an effort. While we will consider applicants who are implementing individual efforts, it is our tendency to focus on leaders of groups and efforts.

Research and science fair projects:

Many research and science fair projects are individual and/or one-time efforts. As such, they are difficult to compare to the leadership of ongoing projects. We will not consider applicants who are implementing research and science fair projects, unless it is part of ongoing environmental efforts involving a larger group.

Earth Day and one-time conferences:

We understand the impact and necessity of Earth Day, conferences, and one-time gatherings. However, we typically will not consider one-time gatherings for the award, unless the event produced long-term measurable impacts in which you have continued to play a significant leadership role.

Click Here to Apply!