The future of Historic Preservation
The Preserve America Youth Summit Program began in 2007 with the goal of creating an opportunity for young people aged 13 to 18 to get out of the classroom and into the field to learn about history, archaeology, heritage tourism, and preservation. Interacting directly with community partners such as federal, state and local governments and agencies as well as non-profit historic preservation, tourism, community, and education organizations, each Youth Summit provides interactive, outcome-driven learning experiences and service opportunities. As part of the program, the students reflect what they learn in the field so that they may provide critical feedback and policy advice to then help partners develop meaningful and relevant methods to reach younger audiences.
The only program of its type in the country, the Youth Summits have received national attention for the accomplishments of the experiences offered to over 1,500 students and their teachers. The Summits work to achieve four primary objectives: connecting youth and teachers to historic places; involving students in historic preservation activities; expanding tools to support teachers’ efforts in heritage and preservation education; and bolstering local preservation and heritage tourism efforts.
- Foster understanding of heritage, history, and historic places
- Connect youth to places associated with diverse cultures and viewpoints
- Involve students in historic preservation and service-learning projects
- Expand tools to support educators’ classroom efforts, while providing meaningful and relevant 21st century learning applications
- Bolster local preservation and heritage tourism efforts of communities and historic sites
- Gain youth perspectives on preservation and heritage tourism issues
The Preserve America Youth Summits are a program of Conservation Legacy, a national 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to supporting locally based conservation, preservation and educational service programs that empower individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities and the environment. In addition to Summits, Conservation Legacy programs include the Arizona Conservation Corps, Environmental Stewards, Southeast Youth Corps, Southwest Conservation Corps and VISTA Teams. The organization, founded in 1998, is headquartered in Colorado and operates in more than 30 states from eight year-round offices. Working with other state and local partners, the Youth Summit will be managed by Conservation Legacy and staffed by the Youth Summit team with a history of success in organizing youth events having presented 27 Youth Summits since 2007.