Meridian Stories invites Maine youth to help shape their state’s environmental future by participating in Meridian Stories’ statewide challenge, Paradise Found — the Search for Maine’s Environmental Visionaries.

Middle and high school students are invited to produce one- to two-minute videos addressing their goals and ideas for the future of Maine’s environment. The audience for their messages: state leaders in both the public and private sector. For this statewide environmental initiative, Meridian Stories is partnering with Maine Audubon Society and Wolfe’s Neck Farm to foster environmental awareness and bring forward the next generation of Maine environmental leaders, according to a Meridian Stories news release.

“This project is designed as a form of activism. The goal is to give voice to Maine students’ collective vision and truly impact what tomorrow looks like for our state,” Executive Director of Meridian Stories Brett Pierce said in the release. Meridian Stories provides students with suggested prompts for their submissions. For example:

• In a one- to two-minute video letter to the President of the United States, state your position advocating for or against a Maine Woods National Monument, and why.

• In a global environment where fresh water supplies are seriously dwindling, Maine enjoys abundance. How do you propose to balance the two objectives of protecting our freshwater resources and tapping it to slake a global thirst?

• If you secured $1 million to bring healthier, locally grown, environmentally friendly and affordable food to Maine’s population, what would you do?

Students use the power of digital media to produce videos to imagine and share the future they envision for Maine’s environment. Entries will be posted on the Meridian Stories website in a graphically designed digital map of Maine where users can click all around the state to see and hear what Maine youth are saying about their visions for Maine’s natural environment.

The top 10 visionaries will be chosen by a panel of educators and environmental and media professionals. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top 10 Maine Environmental Visionaries.

Meridian Stories’ community of schools, which includes schools in Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Kennebec, Lincoln, Sagadahoc and York counties, will have students participating.

After the competition wraps up, every Maine legislator will be sent a link to a live map showing where participating students attend school, and can watch the videos.

Funding from the Horizon Foundation, a Maine philanthropy, enables the organization to offer this challenge free to middle and high schools from across Maine and award cash prizes to the Top 10 Environmental Visionaries.

Registration is free, to register or for more information, visit www.MeridianStories.com. Registration deadline is Feb. 15; the deadline for submissions is April 15.


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