The Promise Project

The Promise Project is a youth-led program for kids, ages 8-18, who want to do something big about climate change. Kids will learn about their city government, meet their city councilors and Mayor Brainard, discover how their voices can be heard in our community, and learn how to work together to create lasting change. Kids will also discover that even as kids, they have power and can still be heard. As a result, they will become more confident and motivated individuals.

Kids will attend Carmel city council meetings and speak in front of their city council representatives, asking them to keep their promise to usthat our future world will be healthy, clean, and beautiful, and asking them to put a Climate Recovery Ordinance on their agenda, which will make sustainability part of city code.

What is a Climate Recovery Ordinance? The first Climate Recovery Ordinance in the nation was passed in Eugene, Oregon by a group of hardworking youth. For more information, see the Our Children’s Trust website.

Why do we want to implement this project in Carmel?  Through the efforts of cities to become more sustainable, we become leaders for climate accountability even with a lack of statewide leadership.

This project was started in 2015 by 17-year-old Maddie Adkins, with support from Jim Poyser, Youth Power Indiana, and Leslie Webb, Carmel Green Initiative.  Passionate about taking climate action, Maddie served as co-president of the CHS Environmental Club and CGI board member. Since the project started, several youth leaders have stepped up to work on the Promise Project.

Sign the Online Petition

The Promise Project reached a milestone on February 20, 2017 when the Carmel City Council voted unanimously to pass the Climate Resilience and Recovery Resolution.  Carmel made history by being the first city in Indiana to pass a climate resolution.  The resolution shows the city’s commitment to taking action to protect the children and grandchildren of our community.

Here’s what Carmel’s Climate Resolution is promising to do:

  1. The City of Carmel will strive to reduce its carbon emissions from 2016 levels in a manner that is prudent, properly funded, well documented, and approved by the Carmel Common Council.
  2. In order to establish a plan to achieve Objective #1 of this Resolution, the City of Carmel will create a climate action plan that includes obtaining a baseline measurement of citywide emissions, establishing proper measures to ensure the plan is being implemented, and incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy standards where possible.
  3. The City of Carmel may appoint a commission comprised of business leaders, faith leaders, youth leaders, and community leaders to monitor progress and consult with elected officials.

In accordance with Carmel’s climate resolution, the City’s first ever Greenhouse Gas Inventory was conducted to get a baseline measure of citywide emissions.  A GHG inventory is important because it shows the quantity and source of emissions. How much and where is CO2 coming from in our city?

The inventory was completed in 2019 by Miranda Frausto, Sustainability Intern for the City of Carmel with support from IU Resilience Institute.  Miranda, a past Promise Project Youth Leader, also hosted public engagement workshops in May 2020 to share the inventory results and get community input.   Please see Current in Carmel story on page 7.

The next step is to develop a Climate Action Plan, including a Carbon Reduction Target.

As part of Phase 2 of the Promise Project, Youth Leaders want to ensure that the city adopts an effective climate action plan with an effective carbon reduction target to protect their future.

2020 Youth Leaders

Felipe MartÍnez GuimaraesCHS Senior, CGI board, Green Action Club co-leaderTony Green
Sarah PatelCHS Junior, Green Action Club co-leaderMiles Nelson
Maanya RajeshCHS Junior, Green Action Club co-leaderMiles Nelson
Grace KubekCHS Junior, Green Action ClubMiles Nelson
Katie SmithCHS Junior, Green Action ClubSue Finkam
Grace Belt
Natalie WorkmanHS JuniorTony Green
Teddy RayhillHS Freshman
Siddarth Chavalli8th grade Creekside, Helping Ninjas memberMiles Nelson
Arjun Sunil8th grade Creekside, Helping Ninjas memberMiles Nelson
Leo Berry5th grade Collegewood, Helping Ninjas founderMiles Nelson
2020 Youth Leaders

Youth Advisors

  • Jose Ortuzar (college)
  • Miranda Frausto (college)
  • Ben Rayill (college)
  • Alex Workman (college)
  • Jodh Pullela (college)

Adult Mentors