WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     WWg — Last Friday the WWG Y.E.S. class was honored at an assembly in the high school gymnasium. On hand was Michelle Isaacson, YES Coordinator. Isaacson  talked about the accomplishments of the WWG YES Class and its projects during the past year. She presented them with the top award in the region, and a check for $1,000 to be used to fund next years Youth Energy Summit projects.

    Students and teachers from Youth Energy Summit (YES!) team at Westbrook-Walnut Grove High School,  along with Forest Lake High School, Mankato West High School, New Prague Alternative Learning Center,  Springfield High School, and Sleepy Eye High School participated in the recent regional Spring Judging event on April 27. This event allowed the opportunity for students to present a year’s worth of sustainable and energy action projects to a panel of local judges. Monetary awards were given for winners of the various categories, to be invested toward future YES! projects.

    The event was hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN as the judges video conferenced with each of the six participating teams. The conferencing allowed each team the opportunity to present the projects they worked on this past year, followed by Q&A from the judges. Students talked about the process of completing their projects, creating goals, and how they worked as a team. Other topics of discussion included community involvement and how they educated fellow students and their local communities about environmental issues.

    Judges were impressed with the variety of projects, data work, and outreach of the various teams. In the end, it was a very difficult decision. Two teams pulled to the top in the various judging categories and ended up being half a point away in the end.      Sleepy Eye High Schools received the Project Impact Award and Community Leadership and Education Award. Westbrook-Walnut Grove was the overall winner, coming away with the All Star Award, Goal Setting and Teamwork Award and the Wow Factor Award. They will be advancing to the statewide competition to compete with the All Star recipients from the other YES! regions.

        Each team did a great job making an impact in their school and community this past year. Not only are the students making their school more environmentally friendly, the affect radiates out through their families and communities. Through the projects, teams addressed real world issues and got people thinking differently about everyday issues. About Youth Energy Summit

    YES! empowers youth to partner with their community to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, recycling, composting, local foods, and more.

    Major funding for the 2016-2017 season is provided by the McKnight Foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation, and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. For more information, visit www.youthenergysummit.org