MCJ Collective Newsletter
My Climate Journey
Empowering Youth Climate Leaders: Tips and Tactics for Parents and Educators

Empowering Youth Climate Leaders: Tips and Tactics for Parents and Educators

My Climate Journey Podcast with Katrina Erwin and Glennys Navarrete, The CLEO Institute

Katrina Erwin and Glennys Navarrete are program managers at the CLEO Institute and co-hosts of the House on Fire Podcast.

The CLEO Institute is a 501C3 nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, exclusively dedicated to climate education and advocacy. Founded in 2010, CLEO, which stands for Climate Leadership Engagement Opportunities, works with communities across Florida to build climate literacy and mobilize climate action.

Listen on Spotify

Katrina focuses on helping youth activists leverage their power most effectively in state and local political settings. And Glennys leads CLEO's efforts at schools to educate students on climate issues and be more effective advocates.

We jump into a number of different topics about youth climate activism, including what climate education programs look like in schools, how parents can be most effective at supporting youth climate action, when youth activists should focus on collaboration or on resistance, the role of social media in climate action, and lastly, how to inspire kids to care about climate change in the first place.

In this episode, we cover: 

  • [02:32] Glennys’ background and climate journey

  • [06:40] Katrina's background and climate journey

  • [12:36] The history and goals of the CLEO Institute

  • [16:03] Integrating climate curriculum into schools in an overly-politicized environment 

  • [18:15] Avoiding "Trigger words" and misinformation 

  • [19:25] How parents can play a role in youth climate activism

  • [25:49] Creating spaces where young people can be heard, not tokenized

  • [30:18] Empowering young people to engage in local politics

  • [35:25] "Power mapping" and using social media to research and contact local politicians

  • [39:22] Katrina's and Glennys' favorite climate influencers on social media, and the role of activists on social platforms

  • [40:44] Shifting climate conversations from “doom and gloom” to solutions-oriented, and from “polar bear” imagery to local reality

  • [45:08] The House on Fire podcast, and how to get involved with the CLEO Institute

Visit our website for a full transcript of this episode.

Get connected: 
Cody Simms
CLEO Institute
Katrina Erwin
Glennys Navarrete
MCJ Podcast / Collective

*You can also reach us via email at, where we encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Episode recorded on April 11, 2023

MCJ Collective Newsletter
My Climate Journey
A growing body of knowledge about climate change and potential solutions. This series traverses disciplines, industries, and opinions with hundreds of deep-dive conversations with science, technology, and climate leaders.