ABOUT

Using Translation

The County of San Mateo has added a translation feature developed by Google Translate to assist web visitors in understanding information on this website in a variety of foreign languages. Please be aware that Google Translate, a free third party service which the County does not control, provides automated computer translations that may not give you an exact translation. The County cannot guarantee the accuracy of translations through Google Translate so translations should not be considered exact and only used as a rough guide. Anyone relying on information obtained from Google Translate does so at his or her own risk. The County disclaims and will not accept any liability for damages or losses of any kind caused by the use of the Google Translate feature.

Program

The Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCA) Leadership Program provides 9-12th 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 first six months of the program. 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. 

See YCA Program requirements, outcomes, timeline, and structure below:

requirementsRequirements

In order to be accepted into the YCA Program, the applicant must

  • Live or go to school in San Mateo County
  • Be in 9th-12th grade when applying to the program
  • Be available on designated workshop dates
outcomesOutcomes

Over the course of the year, Youth Climate Ambassadors will

Attend 17 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 and structureTimeline & Structure

The YCA program runs for one year, starting in January and ending December. Youth Climate Ambassadors will attend a total of 18 workshops throughout the year.

  • 2-4 retreats (in-person, depending on COVID-19 safety guidelines)
  • 17 workshops (online, via Zoom)
  • Monthly mentorship calls (online, via Zoom)
  • 1 graduation event (online, via Zoom)

Climate Ambassadors will be assigned to chapters which are organized by school district. 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.
Empowering youth to take action on climate change in their local community
 

YCA Workshops, Retreats, & Impact Project

people connecting with nature

MONTHLY WORKSHOPS

There will be two online workshops each month 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 Thursday of each month from 7:00-9:00pm.

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.

clipboard

RETREATS

Climate Ambassadors will attend three separate full-day experience throughout their cohort year. These retreats will always be on Saturdays from 9:00am-3:30pm at a pre-selected and centralized location in San Mateo County. Each retreat will serve as a benchmark event in the program and will focus around deeper skill building, taking collective action, and building awareness of local environmental issues and solutions.

  • Opening Retreat: Saturday, October 1, 2022 – Location TBD
  • Mid-Point Retreat: Saturday, December 10, 2022 – Location TBD
  • Closing Retreat: Saturday, May 13, 2023 – Location TBD
lightbulb

COMMUNITY IMPACT PROJECT & GRADUATION EVENT

Climate Ambassadors will work individually or in teams to design and implement a community impact project (CIP) 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 CIP action plan at the monthly workshops in the second half of the program (January – March 2023)
  • Implementation: Students will be supported to implement their projects for Earth Month, April 2023. Students will also be able to utilize a budget 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, May 13, 2023. The event will also serve as a final graduation to the program.

Apply for Cohort 4 of the Youth Climate Ambassador program today! Select the ‘apply’ button above to begin your application. Applications for the upcoming cohort of the program will close on Monday, September 5th at midnight.

Have questions about the program? Please contact Kamille Lang (klang1@smcgov.org).