The Three Spheres Leadership Academy (TSLA) is an Envirolution summer program, which engages local youth in our community by introducing them to local entrepreneurs, leaders, businesses, and sustainable practices. TSLA first kicked off in the summer of 2012; for five weeks area youth learned about the Reno community and its leaders. Participants saw that it can be one thing to live in the community, but it is a whole other thing to be actively involved in helping the community to become more sustainable!
TSLA empowers our local youth to step up, and take leadership roles in the community. Participants are encouraged to become youth leaders and are given the opportunity to hear and connect with local leaders. In 2012 TSLA participants heard 23 people discuss how they have made an impact in our community. These youth leaders participated in
24 field experiences around the Reno-Tahoe sustainability community, and engaged in a variety of service learning projects in our community, like building a solar water pump for irrigation at a local farm, and helping frame a storage shed for a non-profit. The TSLA students were trained and certified to perform a triple bottom line analysis, evaluating the economic, environmental, and social perspective in making decisions.
Not only did the TSLA youth leaders hear first hand how our community works, they
experienced it through actions of our partners. For instance, local businesses provided
lunch each day of the program.
We have maintained a connection with all the graduates from last year’s program. There
have been multiple positive outcomes for various youth leaders. One student is now
president of a green action club in her high school; others stepped up to be a part of
their school’s student council, another will speak at graduation and has improved his
grades and school engagement enormously. Although TSLA is only a few weeks long,
Envirolution continues to provide networking opportunities and resources, as well as
updates of different service learning events around the community for TSLA alumni
We are planning for two summer sessions for TSLA in 2013, with 20 students in each
session. We will be incorporating new concepts, partners, field experiences and speakers.
This year we are excited to be partnering with Grand Aspirations who provided training
for TSLA’s management and development team. The ideas of art and anti-oppression
they introduced us to during the January Gathering are very important aspects of
our community that were not focused on in TSLA; art triggers the right side of the
brain, something we lacked last year. The training we received in Washington DC has
empowered us to take TSLA to that next level! We are also excited to be partnering with
the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows, a partnership in the Reno community that
will benefit both organizations!