Founder of Solar Youth, Inc
1997 Global Fellow
With the support of Echoing Green, Joanne founded Solar Youth in 2000. Solar Youth empowers youth to achieve lifelong success through connection to the environment, their communities and each other. She continues to lead the organization as it grows – expanding supports to ensure all youth graduate high school with a plan for college or career. Our programs are based in New Haven’s neighborhood-in-crisis, serve youth throughout their adolescence, and incorporate environmental exploration, youth-led community service, compassionate communication and mindfulness practice. In addition to Solar Youth, Joanne teaches a course on Positive Youth Development at Southern CT State University; is a licensed foster parent and has cared for 3 newborn baby girls over the last 3 years; and most recently was seen performing a unique version of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” on her ukulele to over 100 at a camp fire.