Outstanding Young Environmental Leader Award

Recognizes the exceptional contributions made by a young person or group of youth (age 14-23) to their community in environmental education. The award recipient must demonstrate outstanding leadership in the creation and implementation of an original program and/or provide exemplary leadership and service to an existing environmental organization or school-based environmental education program. Self-nomination or peer/supervisor nominations are accepted.

Nomination Criteria

Outstanding Leadership: Nominee played a significant leadership role in the creation, organization, and/or implementation of a new or existing environmental education program, stewardship project, school program, and/or environmental community engagement campaign. 

Innovative Approach: Nominee approach is innovative, unique, creative, inclusive, relevant and action oriented. The nominee will inspire others to adopt their innovative approaches.

Impact: The nominee’s contributions and impact on its audience/community are noteworthy and nominee can demonstrate evidence of impact. Nominee’s work could be replicated by others.

Commitment to Environmental Education: The nominee is future-minded and committed to continuing and expanding their work to advance environmental education and/or literacy.

Click here for the awards criteria scoring form used by reviewers

Nomination Materials

Step 1: Online Nomination Form

Complete and Submit Online 

(click here to preview the form)

Step 2: Nomination Narrative

Please submit a Word document via email (no PDF) that is no longer than 2 pages with 11 point font that includes the following items. These are specific instructions for the Outstanding Young Environmental Leader Award category. In the top right corner of each page, please type the following: Nominee Name-Young Leader Award. Address each of the following and include specific examples.

  • How is the nominee committed to environmental education and how do they inspire others to make a difference in their community with regards to local environmental issues?
  • How has the nominee demonstrated innovation and creativity in the field of environmental education, stewardship, conservation, outdoor leadership, and/or community engagement?
  • How has the nominee’s audience/learners/community benefited from their work? What impact has the nominee and their work had on others understanding of environmental issues, stewardship, conservation and/or outdoor leadership?

Step 3: Program Photographs

Submit three high-resolution photographs depicting the nominee (required).  (300 dpi or higher- JPEG, GIF, PNG format). Images embedded in a PDF or Word document will not be accepted.

Step 4: Organization Logo

Submit a high resolution logo of the nominee's organization (required).  300 dpi or higher- JPEG, GIF, PNG format).  Images embedded in a PDF or Word document will not be accepted.

Step 5: Digital Support (OPTIONAL)

If you would like, please submit one of the following: a 3-minute video/audio clip, 5 PowerPoint slides (please save as a PDF and send), an article, OR a digital slideshow with no more than 10 photos highlighting the nominee. Digital item is supplemental and should NOT be a substitute for required nomination information. (encouraged, but not required)

Step 6: Support Letter(s) (OPTIONAL)

If you chose, you may provide up to two letters of support from those impacted by the nominee’s work. 

Note: Due to the size of photos, logos and digital support, please share these items through a file sharing program such as Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. in the case that the file size is larger than 10MB. Sharing settings should be set to allow CAEE to share materials with reviewers.

Submitting Your Nomination


The nomination will be evaluated on the information you provide and its completeness, legibility, and clarity.

In the email subject line, please type the nominee's name and the award nominating for.

Please name each material with your information as follows: Nominee Name-Young Leader Award-Material Type (materials type examples: Narrative; Photo 1; Logo, Digital Support, etc.)

Photo Release: Any photos or other digital media submitted may be edited, copied, published, and distributed in CAEE communications and publications. Therefore you should have photo releases on file for any children pictured and permission to share those photos.