Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition
501 West Sixth Street, Suite 250
Lexington KY 40508-2739
Contact Information
Nonprofit Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition
Address 501 West Sixth Street, Suite 250
Lexington, KY 40508 2739
Phone (270) 2936278 2936278
Contact Name Allison Crawford
Web and Social Media
KSEC at the Lexington Women's March, Spring 2017
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2007
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
You can make a secure donation to KSEC via credit card or Paypal through Razoo at 
Checks may be made out to Action Center, Inc. with Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition on the memo line and mailed to:
Action Center, Inc.
1434 Elbridge St
Philadelphia, PA 19499  
Other Documents
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement

Beginning with Kentucky's campus communities, KSEC works toward an ecologically sustainable future through the coalescence, empowerment, and organization of the student environmental movement. We are a unified front moving forward on environmental justice through activism, development, and education. We believe in holding campuses, corporations, and governments both responsible and accountable not only in maintaining the environment but allowing ecosystems to live and prosper. We seek to expand our reach and engage our communities by building relationships with non-student driven organizations which stand in solidarity with our cause. 

Background Statement

KSEC has been supported by the Student Environmental Action Coalition since its inception. SEAC was created by students at UNC Chapel Hill in 1989 and was reorganized in 1999 with the mission to help people understand the root causes of environmental degradation and social inequality. SEAC inspired the formation KSEC in 2007 by organizing youth from KY who attended a national Power Shift Conference. Rooted in the desire to end mountaintop removal and bring sustainable energy and green jobs to our beautiful Commonwealth, KSEC founders focused on educating their frontline state’s marginalized youth about environmental justice and agitating for responsible environmental policies both on and off campus.

In the past four years we have focused on empowerment, capacity, and power-building. We have empowered members through skill trainings, increased our active membership from 12 to 175 and uplifted youth voices through 148 media hits. We have increased capacity by raising $197,320 in support from 7 foundations and growing our base from 60 to 1,600. We have built grassroots power by participating in a coalition which stopped the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline and by winning 6 campaigns, including two climate action campaign victories at institutions which are heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry.

Impact Statement
  • Exceeded our goal to train 175 people and will soon surpass 200 people trained. 
  • Developed many leaders within our core team through our Strategic Planning Process. 
  • KSEC affiliate UK Greenthumb won their campaign to get the University of Kentucky to reduce its greenhouse emissions. UK has committed to reducing its GHG emissions 25 percent below 2010 levels. 
  • KSEC has acquired an Americorps VISTA through its relationship with The Plantory in Lexington. 
  • KSEC has begun to implement an aggressive grassroots fundraising strategy, holding biannual fund drives that have generated a total of  $2,224 in received and pledged donations for fiscal year 2016/2017, exceeding our original goal by 54 percent. 
  • Recruit 500 new members to put more grassroots power behind our work for a just and environmentally sustainable Kentucky. 
  • Increase our internal fundraising from 20 percent to 30 percent.
  • Receive two new grants to support KSEC's general operations.
  • Onboard a new western Kentucky organizer to KSEC staff. 
Needs Statement
KSEC has grown exponentially since 2013 and now we are looking to triple our capacity and double our budget over the next two years. We have strong membership in central and eastern Kentucky but would like to expand further and bring in more people from western Kentucky. With your help, we can connect and empower even more young Kentuckians, put more grassroots power behind our work, and achieve our vision of creating a just and environmentally sustainable Commonwealth. 
To ensure continuity of programming, KSEC needs a more diversified financial portfolio. We aim to increase the percentage of our budget funded through grassroots efforts from 20 percent to 40 percent over the next two years. Part of the increase will be supported by major individual donations. We are looking for 5 individuals to pledge $500 to support KSEC's work. 
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Environment / Environmental Education
Tertiary Organization Category Community Improvement, Capacity Building / Alliances & Advocacy
Geographic Areas Served
KSEC is composed of youth ages 14-30 across Kentucky.
Board Chair
Board Chair No Board Chair
Company Affiliation none
Board Members
Arlo Barnette Volunteer from Morehead State UniversityVoting
Dakota Burnett Volunteer from Alice Lloyd CollegeVoting
Cruz Avendaño Dreyfuss Volunteer from Centre College
Gentell Esters Volunteer from Kentucky State UniversityVoting
Caci Gibson Volunteer from Eastern Kentucky UniversityVoting
Destine Grigsby Volunteer from duPont Manual High SchoolVoting
Natalie Jarrett Volunteer from Murray State UniversityVoting
Cassi Odom Volunteer from University of KentuckyVoting
Onaija Stubblefield Volunteer from University of Louisville
Zack Worrall Volunteer from Northern Kentucky UniversityVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 2
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 5
Unspecified 1
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 8%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 2
CEO Comments
Instead of a board, we have the State Network which consists of an elected delegate from our affiliated campus environmental groups. The people listed as board members above are our State Network delegates.
The delegates serve a one year term from January through December and follow a modified consensus decision making model to determine which activities, collaborations, and coalitions in which KSEC will participate. The structure of the State Network is horizontal with no one person in charge so that everyone has the opportunity to take the lead. KSEC has non-traditional governance in an effort not to recreate oppressive structures within our work and organization.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Cara Cooper
Term Start Apr 2013
Experience Cara has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from Florida International University and has been involved in the environmental movement since 2008. She served two years on the National Sierra Student Coalition’s Executive Committee (2012-2013) as the trainings liaison where she worked with staff and volunteers to streamline and solidify their youth leadership development program. In 2013, she became the state organizer for the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition and moved to her birthplace of Kentucky. With KSEC, she has trained hundreds of people in grassroots organizing skills, helped build dozens of new youth leaders and founded a week-long youth-led leadership and organizing camp, called Catalyst. In 2014, Cara received the Sierra Club's Joseph Barbosa Award for Distinguished Youth Members. Cara was also a member of the national Young Climate Leaders Network in the 2016 Cohort. She is dedicated to anti-oppressive organizing, building roots in her community, youth empowerment and organizing for the long haul.

Cara has recently started her own grassroots training and facilitation business called Brighter Future Consulting in order to provide access to grassroots skill building to other local organizations and causes. She loves animals, both the mountains and the beach, live music and cooking delicious vegan food for her friends.
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 3
Volunteers 30
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 80%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 3
Unspecified 0

Our State Network is KSEC’s governing body and represents each of our affiliated campus organizations. This body exists to empower leaders on all of our campuses and liaise between campuses and state-level work. Delegates are trained in grassroots organizing skills through a series of in-person planning meetings, full team conference calls and regular coaching calls.

At the end of 2016, KSEC leaders identified a new shared objective that is informed by the current political landscape: “We will unite to uplift our voices and resist all new threats to the integrity of our environment and communities. We will no longer be ignored.” Delegates will ensure that there is consensus from our campus affiliates this spring and then outline a multi-phased two-year plan for how KSEC will mobilize our members to successfully resist new threats. 

The goal of the State Network in our strategic objective is to UNITE our movement across our campuses, educate new members on emerging and existing environmental justice threats, and to mobilize our base to plug into key moments and actions being planned by our working groups or through the rapid response network we are currently developing.

Delegates are elected by their campus organizations and serve a one-year term. Decisions made at the State Network level are made by the delegates, who represent their campus organizations, using a modified consensus decision making model.

Budget $8,000
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Adults, General/Unspecified
Description Our Just Transition Working Group (JTWG) is most active in the coal-impacted regions of our state where we are working to UPLIFT the voice of young Kentuckians in the conversation around just, economic transition and our vision for the future. The JTWG will be organizing workshops and youth assemblies to help young people find their place in the new economy and to be a voice for workers, our communities, and the environment in this transition.
Budget $24,000
Category Environment, General/Other Environment, General/Other
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years), Adults, General/Unspecified
Description The Political Working Group is owning the RESIST portion of our strategic objective and will be launching a political education tour across several campuses, engaging our members in advocating for progressive candidates and blocking harmful legislation by hosting trainings on direct action tactics and mobilizing members across the state to engage.
Budget $5,000
Population Served , ,

Catalyst is our weeklong summer training camp for aspiring community organizers and activists. It is a life changing experience that creates strong bonds, builds youth organizers, and explores privilege, oppression and local environmental issues in a safe space. Catalyst builds deep relationships and instills the confidence needed to ensure that our generation is NO LONGER IGNORED.  

KSEC leaders apply for director and trainer positions in the late fall and a training team is selected in January. The team oversees curriculum preparation, fundraising and participant recruitment and retention. Through this process the team receives training on how to use popular education and how to create and maintain safer, welcoming and inclusive spaces while at camp. Participants are selected from across the state through an application process. We train 15-25 youth each summer. The program is sustained by a pay-what-you-can rate and holds spaces for youth from other movements to access our curriculum.

Decisions about the curriculum, planning and execution of Catalyst are made through consensus decision making of our training team.

Budget $6,450
Population Served , ,
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
KSEC is an active member of both Power Shift Network and the New Economy Coalition.
We are also involved in an ongoing collaboration with the Stay Together Appalachian Youth (STAY) Project to host Youth Assemblies as part of KSEC's Solution Tour. The Solution Tour is a project to engage youth and elevate their voices in the discussion of Appalachia's transitioning economy. The Youth Assemblies give young Appalachians the chance to meet their peers, learn about possible economic models for the region, and have input on what they feel would be good solutions for the region's struggling economy. KSEC will send the youth input to other organizations working on Just Transition, such as Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Shaping Our Appalachian Region, and the New Economy Coalition. 
Ally of the YearKentuckians For The Commonwealth2016
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Aug 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End July 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $44,919.46
Projected Expenses $46,540.50
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$5,915$7,646$10,257
Investment Income, Net of Losses------
Membership Dues------
Special Events------
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$35,639$54,560$36,822
Administration Expense$2,058$2,328$1,295
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.001.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses95%96%97%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,203----
Current Assets------
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$1,203----
Form 990s
2015 990 2015
2014 990 2014
2013 990 2013
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
Foundation Staff Comments The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition is under the charitable umbrella of the Action Center. Althought 990s belong to the Action Center, financials listed on this portrait pertain only to the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition. 
Address 501 West Sixth Street, Suite 250
Lexington, KY 405082739
Primary Phone 270 2936278 2936278
CEO/Executive Director Cara Cooper
Board Chair No Board Chair
Board Chair Company Affiliation none