LA junior Riley Stevenson was selected for the 2020 Berman & Simmons Youth Leaders Award

LA junior Riley Stevenson is one of just two Mane teens recognized with the Berman & Simmons Youth Leaders Award for her outstanding dedication to serve her community. Stevenson’s activism in climate change, gun safety and mental health awareness led to her nomination and selection for this award.

The Youth Leaders Award gives eligible Maine students who are involved in a community project a $500 educational award and an additional $250 towards the student’s cause. Berman & Simmons aims to showcase the exceptional work these students are doing while giving them a voice to share their passions with the world.

Stevenson is co-president of the LA Climate Action Club and is the Coordination Director for the Maine Chapter of the Youth Climate Strikes, an international, youth-led effort to raise awareness of the threat of climate change and generate positive actions to address the crisis. Her environmental work has led her to organize three events in Maine while also calling upon others to help her draft a resolution to declare a climate emergency in Newcastle. In addition to her environmental work, Riley has worked tirelessly since the Parkland, Florida High School shooting in 2018 to raise awareness for gun safety, including organizing an event at her school. She also works with the Y-teen leaders group on mental health awareness and substance abuse prevention.

“It is a great honor to recognize two passionate and driven young individuals helping their communities,” said Craig Bramley, Managing Director for Berman & Simmons. “It’s important to amplify the voices of young advocates and support them in their efforts to make positive change in the world.”

“This award is very exciting for me mostly because I am being recognized alongside other amazing youth leaders,” said Stevenson. “I feel grateful to live in a place where youth are highlighted in this way, and I have been so lucky to take part in so many great youth-led initiatives. I also think that this award speaks volumes about this community, because I’ve been exposed to so many opportunities thanks to Lincoln Academy and the greater Damariscotta-Newcastle area. In addition, the cash award associated with this recognition is such a great added bonus. Having a headstart on money for college is so appreciated, and I was able to give $250 to the Maine Climate Strikes group, which I think is one of the most impactful climate groups in Maine right now, with work ranging from climate emergency resolutions to organizing state wide strikes. I am thankful for the opportunity to share the things important to me, and highlight such important organizations!”

Berman & Simmons welcomes nominations for the next Youth Leaders Award by March 13. The award is open to all Maine students who are actively enrolled in middle or high school and have been going “above and beyond” to promote a cause they’re passionate about. More information about nominations is available on the firm’s website,