Teenagers Launch International Campaign to Save Antarctica by Leah Davidson

May 29th, 2013 | By | Category: Environmental News, Make a Difference!

Leah Davidson in Antarctica

In December 2011, then 17-year-old Leah Davidson from Sherbrooke, Quebec received a Leacross Foundation scholarship to participate in an educational expedition with the award-winning nonprofit organization Students on Ice. During her two-week expedition, she conducted scientific research, participated in art workshops, knelt down beside penguins, photographed whales, and listened to inspiring lectures from world-renowned climate change activists.

When Davidson returned to Canada, she collected submissions of art, writing, and photography from the 89 people on the expedition and put together the first youth anthology on the polar regions. “I wanted to donate copies to schools and organizations to raise awareness about Antarctica,” explained Davidson, “but I also wanted kids to internalize our message and join our mission of protecting the poles and planet.”

Thus, the idea of “Act for Antarctica” came to fruition. Davidson is working with fellow expeditioners Jayden Rae, Briana Kowal, Rada Illieva, and Laurissa Christie to educate at least 1000 youth about the frozen continent before March 2014. Teachers, students, and youth leaders can request a free copy of the book online and contact the young team to coordinate a visit or conference call with an SOI alum. They can also learn about Antarctica through the comprehensive educational resource list available on the Act for Antarctica website. “The idea is that high school and elementary school students will then ‘pay it forward’ through a lifestyle change or a conservation project. We encourage people to use their creativity in assessing how they can use their talents and interests to make a tangible impact. By submitting their stories to be shared online and through social media, youth join an important community of polar ambassadors,” said Davidson.

The Act for Antarctica campaign received a grant from Do Something, one of the largest American organizations dedicated to social change and innovation. The teenagers have also secured participation prizes from over 15 sustainable companies, including the Antarctic Connection, Patagonia, ecojot, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox, Penguin Place, ChicoBag, ecolunchbox, Penguin-Pedia, Ecogear, EcoSmartWorld, EcoJoia, Lowepro, New Wave Enviro Products, and U Konserve.

Since the campaign’s launch in mid-March, 76 students from three schools in the United States and Canada have submitted acts, ranging from planting trees and delivering educational workshops to their peers to using public transportation and taking shorter showers.

To find out how you can join the movement, visit www.actforantarctica.com.



Leah Davidson




About DoSomething.org

DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the US that helps young people rock causes they care about. A driving force in creating a culture of volunteerism, DoSomething.org is on track to activate two million young people in 2011. By leveraging the web, television, mobile, and pop culture, DoSomething.org inspires, empowers, and celebrates a generation of doers: teenagers who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action. Plug in at www.DoSomething.org.


About Students on Ice

Students on Ice is an award-winning organization offering unique educational expeditions to the Antarctic and the Arctic. Our mandate is to provide students, educators and scientists from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at the ends of the Earth and, in doing so, help them foster a new understanding and respect for the planet. Visit www.studentsonice.com for more information.

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