Alternative High School Students Learn about Crushing Poverty

Al Kennedy School Alternative High School, a secondary school in Cottage Grove, Oregon sent students on a field trip to InStove to learn about the lives of their peers in the developing world.

“They were shocked that that kind of reality exists,” said Matt Hall, Transition Instructor at Al Kennedy School, who organized the trip. "When the students were told about the realities of fuel wood gathering, they were shown a picture of a woman carrying a large bundle of wood with a baby strapped to her chest.

“There was one student who is a teen mom,” continued Matt. “She asked if that was a baby…it was almost unthinkable to her that this woman was working and carrying her baby.”

“It’s important that the next generation understands the reality of energy access that one out of three people on earth is living in,” said Fred Colgan, founder of InStove. “This is what I love: spreading the message and sharing the hope we’ve found."

“They were really intrigued by how efficient the stoves were,” added Matt.

Al Kennedy Alternative High School was founded in 1998 by forestry teacher and outdoor adventurer Al Kennedy to help young people find their place in the community and the world. It now has a body of 90 students in grades 10 through 12.

InStove offers hands-on educational experiences for student groups, internships to college and university students, and educational tours and speaking engagements as part of its community education mission. InStove first began hosting high school students in educational workshops in 2013 through a collaboration with Northwest Youth Corps OutDoor High School in Eugene, Oregon.

If you are an educator who would like to learn more about participating, if you are a student interested in an internship, or if you are college or community education instructor who would like to organize a workshop for your group, please email

To support InStove’s work educating the next generation of environmental leaders, consider a donation and ask that your gift go toward, “Student education in environmental leadership.”


Next article: "InStove at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair"

Previous Article: "A stove for Ghana Shea Butter Collective"