Three leading organizations – the Center for the Environment at Catawba College, Rocky Mountain Institute, and the Environmental Working Group – are partnering to provide an opportunity for young environmental leaders to learn, create, share, interact, grow, connect, and build relationships. You know you have unique talents and particular interests; at Redesigning Our Future 2021you will learn the skills needed to use your passions to create a sustainable world. Small group workshops will focus on creating a toolbox of leadership skills that can be used now and in your future.

Become an Environmental Leader

Topics are presented through dynamic seminars, interactive modules, compelling speakers, and other activities. The Summit challenges students to tackle relevant and crucial issues in today’s world while  honing their skills to become tomorrow’s environmental leaders and changemakers.

Who can attend?

The summit is open to students who will be 14-17 years of age by the time of the summit.

Where is it?

The summit will be held on the Catawba College campus. Catawba College is in Salisbury, NC, just north of metropolitan Charlotte. Programming will occur on Catawba College’s 189-acre Fred Stanback, Jr. Ecological Preserve and in the labs and classrooms of the Center for the Environment’s green facility.

2019 Keynote Speaker

In 2019, we had the honor of welcoming National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist Asher Jay as our keynote speaker. Asher is an international adventurer whose paintings, sculptures,  installations, animations, ad campaigns, and films all have a single purpose: to incite global action on behalf of wildlife conservation.  Learn more about her work here.

Student Blog

The National Environmental Summit has unique focus groups that are lead by Catawba faculty each year. Students are able to explore their individual interests through hands on learning; and practical and theoretical projects.  In 2016, one of the focus groups were lead by a faculty member in the English department and under their supervision, were able to construct a blog by interviewing their peers. Visit the blog.

Focus Groups

Students from across the nation come together to
explore their unique interests through a wide variety
of environmental topics, while learning essential skills
to guide them in becoming effective leaders. Choose a unique focus group in order to explore your particular interests.

Student comments from past summits

“The summit was a great way to meet similar minded people with a shared passion. It gave me the confidence I needed to start environmental initiatives.”


“I feel like I’ve grown a lifetime away from where I started. I was given the push to truly take a step in the direction of helping to save this earth. I was given the tools to be an awesome leader and bring us to a greener world.”


“The summit helped me incorporate all the things I love with my love of the earth. It helped me understand the processes that one must undergo in order to help others understand and work with an ecological choice.”

"Other schools may have conferences, but this is completely different. It gives you hands-on experience and puts you among people who think like you. You’re exposed to stuff you’re not going to get from a traditional conference."

Want to Sponsor a Student?

In order to keep the National Environmental Summit for High School Students affordable for all, we must raise funds to offset the cost. Please consider partnering with us in offering this transformative experience for high school students by sponsoring a student for the event.