By Ashley Cheung, Student at Washington DC School Without Walls

On December 6, 2019, I had the honor of attending the Leaders in Energy 4 Gen Awards Ceremony along with Kayla Peale and Krithika Layagala, fellow teen leaders from the Eco Teen Action Network. The three of us were excited to be recognized for our work in our Dream Hubs, along with other teen Ambassadors Sydney Rico, Marieka Staheli, and Eva Leikikh. 

The gathering of changemakers from all generations created an exciting atmosphere – each person I talked to is working on a unique project, yet we all have the common goal of making our world a more sustainable place for both humans, and the other living beings we share our earth with. 

At first, I was intimidated by the fact that we were the youngest people to be honored. I thought to myself, All these people have accomplished such big things and it feels like we teen ambassadors haven’t even started. But as I stood at the podium looking out at the audience of smiling adults, I caught my mom’s eye. Her smile revealed not only her motherly pride but the knowledge that the next generation was in good hands. If we continue working together, I know my generation will create waves bigger than climate change can!  This was our presentation here!

This common goal of a sustainable earth and society is what bridged the gap between generations that night, and continues to do so even in our very own Dream Hubs. The team dynamic of our hubs is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. As individuals in different stages of life, we each have something unique to offer to the group. Us teen ambassadors bring our passion and eagerness to create change to the table, while our mentors and advisors impart us with wisdom that comes from years of worldly experience, and are always bursting with new ideas to explore and connections to make. The strong sense of harmonious collaboration in our hubs has led us to learn and achieve so much more than I could ever have imagined.  

We are excited to have more teens join us!  Please email the Co-Lab at to learn more!