Climate change, gun safety and mental health awareness are three of the most debated issues in the country. They are also the focus for two inspiring young leaders who hope to drive change in their own communities and beyond. Riley Stevenson of Waldoboro and Conrad Gabriel of Portland are being recognized with the Berman & Simmons Youth Leaders Award for their outstanding dedication to serve their communities.
The Youth Leaders Award gives eligible Maine students who are involved in a community project a $500 educational award and an additional $250 towards the student’s cause. Berman & Simmons aims to showcase the exceptional work these students are doing while giving them a voice to share their passions with the world.
Riley, who attends Lincoln Academy, is the president of the school’s Climate Action club and is the Coordination Director for the Maine Chapter of the Youth Climate Strikes, an international, youth-led effort to raise awareness of the threat of climate change and generate positive actions to address the crisis. Riley’s environmental work has led her to organize three events in Maine while also calling upon others to help her draft a resolution to declare a climate emergency in Newcastle. In addition to her environmental work, Riley has worked tirelessly since the Parkland, Florida High School shooting in 2018 to raise awareness for gun safety, including organizing an event at her school.
Conrad, a Deering High School senior, has spent two years as the Outreach Director for the Yellow Tulip project which seeks to de-stigmatize mental health issues nationwide. Conrad also served as the National Key Club Lt. Governor and Committee Chair for International Projects for the New England region while being active in the school chapter. He has also founded a March for Our Lives group at his high school to promote gun law reform. Conrad is a member of Seeds of Peace, as well as a fierce debater; he has won awards in both Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas and plans to enroll at Tulane University’s honor’s college in the fall.
“It is a great honor to recognize Riley and Conrad, two passionate and driven young individuals helping their communities,” said Craig Bramley, Managing Director for the firm. “It’s important to amplify the voices of young advocates and support them in their efforts to make positive change in the world.”
Berman & Simmons welcomes nominations for the next Youth Leaders Award by March 13. The award is open to all Maine students who are actively enrolled in middle or high school and have been going “above and beyond” to promote a cause they’re passionate about. Whether the student is advocating for an issue in their community or on a more global scale, our goal is to showcase their exceptional work and community engagement, give them a voice to share their passion project, and provide additional resources to help advance their cause. Click here to nominate a remarkable youth leader in your community.