The Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCA) Leadership Program provides 9-11th grade students in San Mateo County with the opportunity to dive into social and environmental issues contributing to the global climate crisis. During this year-long program, students will attend monthly online workshops that cover a variety of topics to strengthen their knowledge in climate change, build individual skills, and support regional capacity among youth to lead action on climate change.
Students will work towards developing and implementing an impact project that addresses local sustainability issues throughout the year. While developing their impact project, students will gain experience in a variety of skills including observations, data collection, interviews, survey design, problem-solving, and more, based on student interest and the project. At the end of the program, there will be a graduation event for students to present on their impact project. Applications for the 2021 program year are now closed. Please check back in October 2021 if you are interested in applying for the 2022 YCA program.
See YCA Program requirements, outcomes, timeline, and structure below:
In order to be accepted into the YCA Program, the applicant must
- Live or go to school in San Mateo County
- Be in 9th-11th grade when applying to the program
- Be available on designated workshop dates
Over the course of the year, Youth Climate Ambassadors will
Attend 18 workshop sessions and acquire knowledge in:
- Climate Change
- Environmental Sustainability
- Resource Conservation
- Environmental Advocay
- Environmental Justice
- Climate Solutions
Receive mentorship and develop leadership skills including:
- Communication and public speaking
- Identifying and defining a problem
- Problem solving
- Observation and data collection
- Interviewing and surveys
- Leadership and collaboration
Complete other required activities, such as:
- Participating in the YCA online forum
- Attending YCA retreats
- Completing the YCA tasks and assignments
- Completing a final case study report
- Completing a school or community impact project
- Presenting their project at a graduation capstone event
Timeline & Structure
The YCA program runs for one year, starting in January and ending December. See 2021 Program calendar here. Youth Climate Ambassadors will attend a total of 18 workshops throughout the year.
- 2 retreats
- 16 workshops
- 3 mentorship calls
- 1 graduation event
Climate Ambassadors will be assigned to chapters which are organized by school distrcit. During the program, Climate Ambassadors will attend monthly workshops with their chapter and with the whole YCA cohort.
Participants who successfully complete all program requirements are eligible for a YCA graduate stipend.
YCA Workshops, Retreats, & Impact Project
There will be two, online workshops each month – one with school district chapters, and one with the full YCA cohort. These workshops serve as the cornerstone of this program and provide ongoing opportunities for learning, skills development, community building, connecting with guest speakers, exploring green careers, and impact project support. Workshops take place on the 1st and 3rd Thrusday of each month from 7:00-8:30pm.
YCA Cohort Workshops: YCA cohort workshops will take place online on the first Thursday of each month, from 7:00-8:30pm.
Chapter Workshops: Ambassadors will be assigned to a chapter according to their school district. Disctrict chapter meetings take place online on the third Thursday of each month from 7:00-8:30pm.
In between workshops, Ambassadors will research and explore the current practices, operations, and culture of their school/communities and conduct interviews in the community. This research will help identify local problems and issues that will become the central focus of the community impact project.
Climate Ambassadors will attend one full-day experience over the summer, in the month of July. The event will serve as a mid-point retreat and will focus around deeper skill building, taking collective action, and building awareness of local environmental issues and solutions.
COMMUNITY IMPACT PROJECT & GRADUATION EVENT
Climate Ambassadors will work individually or in teams to design and implement a community impact project that makes some aspect of their school or greater community more environmentally sustainable (“green”).
- Action Plan: Students will receive support and guidance on developing their action plan at the monthly workshops from Spring – Fall 2021.
- Implementation: Students will be supported to implement their projects in Fall 2021. Students can also apply for a mini-grant of up to $500 for project implementation!
- Capstone Event: Students will present on their projects at the Capstone Event, which will take place on Saturday, Decemeber 4, 2021. The event will also serve as a final graduation to the program.
Application for the 2021 YCA program closed. Application for the 2022 program will open in October 2021.
Have questions about the program? Please contact Zoe van Duivenbode (firstname.lastname@example.org).