1. IDEAS For Haiti – 2011
Viktor Elsaieh, the International Director,  for the 2nd year in a row,  hosted the IDEAS International Initiative in Haiti! In a 4 week program, Vick teamed up with Prodev and the Voila Foundation, both Non-profits based in Jacmel, Haiti, to host environmental education programs, cleanups and an upcycling competition, — turning the waste collected into art to be sold! Another incredible effort by Viktor.

2. IDEAS UCF – 2011 Shack-a-Thon 1st place Winner & Fan Fave!
The UCF chapter entered the 2011 Shake-a-Thon competition hosted by Habitat For Humanity at UCF and won first place and fan favorite for creating a sustainable building design. The shack incorporated recycled reflective roofing, rainwater capture systems, passive solar, recycled insulation, organic garden, up-cycled furniture and more!

3. IDEAS UF – Totes For Turtles
The UF chapter spawned up officially in January 2011 and quickly grew to a fast-acting organization. As one of the first R&D initiatives, IDEAS UF decided to create a “Bike-Powered Sewing Machine” and create T-shirt Tote Bags (aka T-Totes) as a way to save plastic from our oceans, and of course Save the Turtles!

4. Powershift 2011
In 2011, the IDEAS Chapters spanning across 5 universities participated in Powershift 2011 Conference in Washington DC. The UCF Chapter went above and beyond, by taking 40 members in a Veggie-powered School bus from Orlando to DC and back. Members participated in training sessions, attended organizing workshops, and enjoyed their time with over 10,000 youth leaders across the Nation.

5. Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) names IDEAS the
‘2011 Conservation Organization of the Year’
In June 2011, the Florida Wildlife Federation (FWF) – a state-wide affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation – invited IDEAS Leaders to the 74thannual conference and awarded IDEAS as the “Conservation Organization of the Year” for 2011, a prestigious award given for efforts in conservation and engaging the youth environmental movement.

6. IDEAS UCF wins HP ‘Green Your School Challenge”
In June 2011, Hewlett Packard (HP) and DoSomething.org announced the winners of the “Green Your School Challenge,” aimed at implementing sustainability projects to help green our campuses. The UCF chapter submitted multiple projects, including K-12 education programs, Shack-a-Thon, Bikes Save CO2 rally, and ecosystem cleanups throughout the Spring 2011 semester, and placing in the Top 10 across the nation for youth greening schools!

7. U.S. White House names IDEAS UCF “Champions of Change”
In July 2011, the White House Office of Public Engagement contacted IDEAS after winning the Hewlett Packard (HP) and DoSomething.org “Green Your School Challenge.” For Week 13 for the Champions of Change initiative, IDEAS was highlighted as Youth Greening Schools and helping our community to reduce our environmental impacts through student projects! Student leaders in Central Florida spoke with Actor and Director, Kal Penn Modi, and engaged with 5 other youth leaders across the nation.  http://whitehouse.gov/champions

8. Moving Planet — 9/24/2011
On September 24th, 2011, our partners at 350.org and hundreds of organizations helped to host the International Moving Planet initiative focused on moving our cities beyond fossil fuels by hosting a Clean Energy Rally with alternative, zero emission forms of transportation. IDEAS UF also painted an incredible mural and visual message, shown. Over 5 chapters in IDEAS participated in the Moving Planet events, joining Millions in 4,000+ events in 182 counties around the World.

9. IDEAS attends the SouthEast Student Renewable Energy Conference (SSREC)
Every year, the Southern Energy Network hosts SSREC, a youth-led conference focused on training, networking and organizing for the Southeast climate movement. This year in October 2011, IDEAS chapters from 5 universities attended and represented the movement and participated in a “Tar Sands Action,” in solidarity with the 350.org White House action that led to the postponing of releasing permits for the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada for 1 year.

10. IDEAS becomes an official Energy Star Partner
In November 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) award IDEAS as an official “Energy Star Partner.” As a service partner, IDEAS has created a professional training program called the “IDEAS Energy Specialist Program” that aims at training the next-generation of green building experts and energy specialist. The curriculum offers workforce development opportunities and trains interested students to use the Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM) building assessment tool. In 2012, we will be expanding this initiative to help benchmark our campus buildings and help to reduce energy cost on campus.

11. IDEAS spreads to 11 new universities in 2011
In 2011, we witnessed the greatest expansion of IDEAS chapters since our inception in 2008. Out of our 15 chapters, 11 of them were created by youth leaders at universities in 4 different states; New York, Indiana, Texas and throughout Florida. Congrats to IDEAS leaders at UM, Miami-Dade, SSC, Rollins, Full Sail, FSU, FAMU, Binghampton, UTEP,  Chapel Hill, and Valparaiso University for leading the way on your campus!