Cora Carvalho - BIPOC Cohort Lead
Cora (she/her) is an undergraduate student at the College of the Atlantic, interned at MYCJ in the past. She is originally from Brazil but has settled in Bar Harbor, Maine. She loves dancing and expressing her activism through art!
Ania Wright - Sierra Club & Maine Climate Council
Ania (she/her) is the Grassroots Climate Action Organizer as of August 2020. In her position, Ania works closely with Sierra Club Climate Action Teams to support their goals and further their efforts. She also works to engage and support youth in climate justice initiatives at MYCJ. Ania recently graduated from College of the Atlantic, where she majored in Human Ecology with a focus in Environmental Policy and Climate Justice. She sits on the board of Maine Climate Action NOW, and serves as the Youth Representative to the Maine Climate Council, where she is working with her fellow representatives to write a new Climate Action Plan for Maine.
Anna Siegel - Maine Youth Action
Anna (she/her) works primarily on municipal policy, state legislation, and press relations. Anna currently serves on the Committee for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability for the Town of Yarmouth, and the Political and Legislative Teams for Sierra Club of Maine. She was also a youth representative to the Emergency Management Working Group of the Maine Climate Council. Anna loves to hike all around the state, from the Gilsland Farm Audubon to Mt. Katahdin.
Amara Ifeji - Maine Environmental Education Association (MEEA) & JustME for JustUS (JMJU)
Amara (she/her) serves as the Director of Youth Engagement and Policy with MEEA and represents MEEA's Changemakers and JustME for JustUS youth networks on the MYCJ Core team. Through her role, she supports advancing equitable access to the outdoors and climate justice education for ALL youth through policy and grassroots organizing efforts. In recognition of her work, she was awarded the 2021 National Geographic Young Explorer Award–one of only 24 youth in the world.
Caleb Ireland - Sunrise Bates
Caleb (he/him) is the youth representative for Sunrise Bates. The national Sunrise Movement is actively building a movement of young people to fight the climate crisis through environmental justice, good green jobs for all, protests, and elections of progressive lawmakers who will work with us to pass the Green New Deal.
Charlie Eng - Sunrise Franklin County
Charlie (he/him) grew up in Western Maine & is now an undergraduate at Brandeis University. He has worked primarily with the Sunrise Movement hub in Franklin County, advocating for the Green New Deal. He has also focused on rural organizing for political campaigns, opposing the CMP corridor & promoting sustainability at University of Maine, Farmington. He is one of MYCJ's Summer 2022 Interns.
Luke Sekera-Flanders- Community Water Justice
Luke (he/him) has been a strong advocate for water justice from a young age, he is co-founder and youth representative for Community Water Justice, a statewide network of frontline communities resisting water privatization and working toward sustainable access to clean water for all people. Luke is also a MEEA Changemakers Fellow, working on education and mobilizing support for environmental justice efforts in Maine. Luke hopes to help strengthen the movement for environmental justice in Maine by supporting other young organizers.
Other Organizations Represented in MYCJ Core:
Bates Environmental Coalition
Coastal Youth Climate Coalition
Sunrise Colby College
Divest University of Maine System
Earth in Brackets
Maine Youth Environmental Association
Mount Desert Island Eco Team
University of New England Earth's Eco
Waynflete Environmental Action Group
Audrey Hufnagel - MYCJ Communications Lead
Audrey (she/her) is the communications team lead for MYCJ, she is also part of the energy campaigns and climate justice crash course working groups. Audrey does a lot of legislative advocacy on a statewide level. She is a sophomore at Lincoln Academy in Damariscotta, Maine. In her free time, she loves running, hiking and playing the flute.
Idey Abdi - Color of Climate
Idey lives in Lewiston, ME and is attending Cornell University. Her advocacy lies at the intersection of racial and climate justice. She is a member of the Color of Climate (COC), a newly created BIPOC youth-led environmental advocacy group out of Gateway Community Services in Lewiston. Her goal is to help educate people who aren’t aware of how climate change will drastically affect disadvantaged communities. She is one of MYCJ's Summer 2022 Interns!
Madison Sheppard - Norway Youth Climate Action
Madison (she/her) is the team co-lead for Norway Youth Climate Action, the co-lead for the MYCJ Queer Cohort, and the founder of Earthy Artworks "Art for Planet". Madison is based out of Norway, she is a performer with NEVAEH dance circus, and the youngest member of the Western Maine Art Group, Main Street Gallery. She is a full time college student pursuing a double major in biology and astrophysics. Madison mainly focusing on climate education, legislative action, and communications work as a member of MYCJ.
Julia St. Clair - MYCJ Finance Lead & Energy Campaigns Lead
Julia (she/her) is the lead for MYCJ's Energy Campaigns group and part of the Finance Team. Julia graduated from The New School in 2020 with a BA in environmental studies and a BFA in photography. She now lives in South Portland and works as the Agricultural Programs Coordinator with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust. Julia is passionate about food justice, gardening, protecting rivers, advocating for Indigenous rights, and stopping fossil fuel pipelines. She also loves bees!
Cole Cochrane - MYCJ Electoral & Legislative Lead
For the past few years Cole (he/him) has focused on both electoral and legislative affairs to address issues regarding climate change. He was campaign manager to Representative O’Neil of Saco and a campaign adviser on Senator Sanders’ 2020 Presidential Campaign. In addition to being avidly involved in elections, he pursued his interests in the legislature by proposing bills that invest in climate action projects on the municipal level, on public transportation issues, and even lowering the voting age. During his time as a policy development coordinator, he built coalitions and negotiated with organizations for support.
Saga Hart - Maine Youth Power
Saga (she/they) is a youth representative for Maine Youth Power, an organization that strives to help youth across Maine build power! Saga helped found the organization Youth Oriented Queer Club Maine (YOQC), which is a statewide organization that aims to connect youth online by creating a safe space and helping them create change in their schools/towns for the LGBTQ+ community.
Edge Venuti - Sunrise County Climate Coalition
Edge (she/her) is from Robbinston, Maine & attends Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine. She’s worked with Healthy Acadia, Maine Youth Action Network & recently co-founded a local climate group called Sunrise County Climate Coalition. This group is for youth in Downeast Maine to have a safe space to come together to work on making change in their rural communities.
Tamra Benson - Maine Youth Action & Divest UMS
Tamra (she/her) is a student at the University of Maine in Orono, where she’s studying Biology, Political Science, & English. She is a core member of a student organization called Divest UMS, which recently inspired the University of Maine System to commit to complete fossil fuel divestment by 2030. She is a Campaign Associate for Maine Youth Action & a member of the energy campaigns team for MYCJ. She hopes to go to graduate school & pursue a career in environmental policy. She enjoys hiking, reading, cross country skiing, playing the piano, & organizing for climate justice!
MYCJ Staff Members
Cassie Cain - MYCJ Program Director
Cassie (she/her) is MYCJ's Program Director and 350 Maine's former Youth Engagement Director, where she worked in partnership with Maine Youth Action Network and multiple Maine youth-led groups to form Maine Youth for Climate Justice (MYCJ). Cassie received a BA in Environmental Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Brandeis University, where she also organized with Brandeis Climate Justice's fossil fuel divestment campaign. Cassie is grateful for the opportunity to organize with the youth climate justice movement in the state she grew up in.
Ezra Sassaman - MYCJ Advocacy and Organizing Coordinator
In addition to being the advocacy and organizing coordinator at MYCJ, Ezra (he/him) also works for A Climate to Thrive, a climate solutions nonprofit based on Mount Desert Island, the area of his hometown. He studied German and Philosophy at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania. Since graduating in 2016, he has been a yoga teacher, legal assistant, and freelance journalist. He has also researched dark money and corporate influence in politics at the Center for Media and Democracy, a watchdog organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. In his free time, he loves playing basketball, Scrabble, and Magic: the Gathering!
Jess Falero - MYCJ Climate Justice Coordinator
Jess (they/them) has been a community organizer for 5 years in Portland, ME. They have focused on homelessness, poverty, & harm reduction, along with an emphasis on climate change as an intersection for those who have historically been left out of the conversation. Among the projects they have organized were the Unhoused Encampments on the steps of City Hall during the 2020 pandemic. They were recognized in the House of Representatives for their work on LD 1294, and they have raised over $100,000 through social media to directly support poor and working class people in Portland.
Zak Kendall - MCAN Northern Youth Engagement Coordinator and MYCJ Member Support Coordinator
Zak (he/him) is the Northeast Youth Engagement Coordinator for Maine Climate Action Now (MCAN), where he creates opportunities for rural Maine youth to get involved in state-wide climate initiatives. He also serves as the Member Support Coordinator with MYCJ. He approaches climate activism mostly through music as the co-leader of the Maine-based, indie/folk band, GoldenOak. The band travels throughout the United States and Canada, sharing songs about the emotional and physical impacts of the climate crisis. When he’s not on the road touring with his band or encouraging Maine youth to fight for their future, he loves paddling Maine's beautiful rivers near his home in the western foothills.
Elise Hartill - MYCJ Administrative and Communications Coordinator
Elise (she/they) has a M.Sc. in marine biology from the University of Maine where she studied cold-water coral ecosystems. She received a National Geographic Society Early Career Grant in 2019 to support a science education and communication project in Southeast Alaska, where her graduate research was based. She is motivated by the need to develop community-driven resilience to climate change by supporting robust public education, local food systems, involving communities in citizen science, and developing adaptive strategies that meet each individual community's needs. She is also an artist who works with different mediums. She lives in Whitefield, Maine.
Mental Health, Climate Anxiety & Burnout Support Space Facilitators
Emily (she/her) is a graduate student working towards her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology. She received her master’s degree from the University of Denver in International Disaster Psychology: Trauma and Global Mental Health. In this program, she learned about intersections between natural and environmental disasters, social justice, and mental health. Building on this education, Emily is excited about the opportunity to support youth climate activists and recognizes how this critical but taxing work can impact mental health. Emily operates primarily from a relational approach and hopes to facilitate a welcoming space for youth to process and support one another. In her free time, she enjoys reading, camping, biking, and hiking in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
Adrian (they/them) is a student at Bates college & an organizer with the Bates Leftist Coalition. They are also a SPARQ (Support - Perspective - Allyship - Representation - Qmunity) peer mentor through the Office of Intercultural Education at Bates. Through this role, they provide mentorship to students who identify as LGBTQ+ or are questioning their identity. They have volunteered for multiple national eco-socialist campaigns through the Democratic Socialists of America and are now a phonebank leader for the Green New Deal campaign. Adrian is also MYCJ’s Social Media Lead!