TCI Reflections from Longtime Ambassador Amelie and Executive Director Jono

Watch the new TCI Mission Video here, or at the bottom of this post!

In Amelie’s Words:

For the past year and a half, I have been working with The Kennebunkport Climate Initiative, educating, activating, and empowering my peers. I have had opportunities I never imagined I would have through KCI, meeting new people along the way from the age of ten to sixty with all ranges of involvement. KCI, now TCI, has already given me mentorship opportunities and a community that I only dreamed of experiencing. With the name change to The Climate Initiative, it’s not just the Kennebunkport community and those connected to it that get to be involved, but everyone who wants to take climate action across the nation. 

This change signifies the growth that has happened since the beginning of the organization. I vividly remember starting my internship in June 2020. At the time TCI had a handful of team members and only the Gulf of Maine Field Studies Class as an active project. In my initial internship, I worked on the #speakclimate campaign which activated youth to post pictures via Instagram on how they spoke climate through their passions, and Climate Career, a contest to hire one recent college grad to work with TCI on their dream climate change project. These two projects allowed for TCI to start spreading the influence from Kennebunkport onward and hooked me into falling in love with the mission of TCI. Later on, in 2020, TCI would hire an executive director and continue to grow its team of staff and ambassadors. It’s crazy to look back and think that TCI had three ambassadors in June 2020 and now over 100 across state lines and age groups. 

“My time with KCI cultivated the drive and passion I have for climate change, helped me get more involved in my community, and fueled my love to learn everything I can.”

I feel like this is more than a name change. KCI for me was a learning experience. I received amazing mentorship from the whole team but especially Leia, Director of Outreach, and Meagan, Director of Communications. They have answered every question I’ve had and mentored me through everything I have done and continue to work on at TCI. My time with KCI cultivated the drive and passion I have for climate change, helped me get more involved in my community, and fueled my love to learn everything I can. 

That was KCI, and for me, TCI signifies a time to take what I have learned and help other youth get involved. I know there are many youth who just want a chance to take action in something and learn as much as they can as I did and still do. TCI gives those opportunities to youth around the nation. 

In Jono’s Words:

The transformation from KCI to TCI marks the significant commitment to engage 10 million youth across the globe to mitigate the climate crisis.

The vision for our organization started in a small coastal town located on the Gulf of Maine, which is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans of its same size. While the town of Kennebunkport will remain a significant location for our organization and its headquarters, our mission and our work have expanded well beyond the state lines of Maine. When we surveyed youth on an organizational name that reflected the global reach necessary to solve the climate crisis, The Climate Initiative ranked highest. A clear and location-agnostic name allows youth from Kennebunkport to Kosovo, Knoxville, to Kinshasa to join the movement of youth seeking solutions to the climate crisis.

“We could not be more excited to launch our new organizational identity to engage 10 million youth in non-partisan climate solutions.”