Team LCE completes Antarctica Expedition & Native Youth Payton Sierra wins Bryce Courtney Award from 2041 Foundation


Maggie Dunne (left) and Payton Sierra (right) on Antarctica.

Team LCE went to Antarctica in April of 2016 with the IAE Expedition led by Robert Swan, and  considered the journey a tremendous success. LCE youth representative Payton Sierra reported that she left Antarctica with enthusiasm to share her experiences with youth in her community, and also to learn more about environmental sciences!

During the course of the expedition, Payton wrote a poem, entitled “Simplicity,” that she shared with the group on our final night of reflection. Payton Sierra was awarded the 2041 Foundation “Bryce Courtney Award,” for her willingness to share her story and reflections with the team, and for her peer leadership.

LCE would like to give huge thanks to our sponsors who made this expedition possible including the 2041 Foundation, Calvert Investments, and the Ungar and Peckham Families.

Enjoy Payton’s poem below!



It is truly amazing.

This boat…

It holds the world.

So many different countries and people,

Different cultures and belief systems.

And although we all have

different passions;

we all have one big plan for our universe.


but we can’t make change

without taking a chance.

So we’re meeting new people,

learning new things;

and creating our own paths.

above all,

If you could really understand a person;

when they tell you their stories.

You can see how bright their eyes light up,

like a child’s on Christmas morning,

thinking all they could wish for

could be sitting under that tree.

And it’s all so blissful.

Our souls reflect off of each other like crystals.

While we’re out here recollecting

our earths innocence and purity.

All while knowing,

the seals aren’t so innocent,

and the ‘not’ so whispering winds tell us,

the sea holds the secrets

But that’s what makes all of it so great.

It’s a mystery.

Having to ask for help,

because we are not afraid to admit to our mistakes.

So together as one, we will rise up as a nation.

So let this be known,

the switch of determination is on.

And this light that we are all

creating will burn so bright,

that eventually the world will

have to pay attention.

– Payton Sierra, 16 years old.

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