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25 Most Remarkable Teens Recipient: Keala Minna-Choe, Youth4Climate

Keala outside on the day she received her award

We are so excited to announce that Keala Minna-Choe, Youth v. Oil team leader for SD350’s Youth4Climate, received the Remarkable Teen Award in the category of Civic Engagement! Read the article here.

On Thursday, November 10th, The San Diego County Public Defender Office recognized 25 teens in San Diego for their accomplishments or contributions to the community as part of The Most Remarkable Teen program.

Keala at the podium to receive her award

Quote from Keala: “I am so grateful to be receiving the award for the 25 Most Remarkable Teens in the Civic Engagement category. None of this would have been possible without my advocacy at SD350, and the skills that have grown from running a campaign. As the former lead of the Youth v. Oil campaign and a board member at SD350, I have learned how critical policy advocacy is and have found my passion in using civic engagement to further climate action. This award is a testimony to my team’s work in passing the Youth v. Oil resolution and showing the true power of youth to make a difference.” – Keala Minna-Choe

Keala has worked enthusiastically and tirelessly to phase out fossil fuels and advocate for a just transition to renewable energy. As the Youth v Oil team leader for SD350’s Youth4Climate, Keala was instrumental in securing an endorsement of a resolution by two San Diego County boards, the San Diego County Office of Education, and the San DIego City Council. The resolution, written by the students, calls upon the Governor to stop issuing new oil drilling permits, and creates a plan to phase out current oil and gas sites in a manner fair to current fossil fuel industry workers, and mandate that extraction sites be safely set back from residences and public buildings. Her team collected 1300+ signatures that helped convince the City Council of the youths’ tangible commitment to a livable future, which the council endorsed in April 2022. Keala also speaks publicly at climate justice rallies and serves on committees of two local climate-action organizations.

Keala receiving an award

San Diego CIty Councilmember Joe LaCava says, “Keala is a natural leader and a voice for her generation. Her passion produces results, inspiring her peers and City Hall to fight for the elimination of fossil fuels and a sustainable future for all.”

Nominator Katharine Harrison writes that Keala is “someone who can not only articulate issues but digs into solutions and gets things done. She understands that racial and economic justice are inextricably tied to climate justice and works within the framework of intersectionality for a just future for all.”