Youth for the Environment and People (YEP!)

Creating a space for youth voices, leadership, and advocacy on issues students care about.

Calling all high school students in Whatcom and Skagit Counties interested in collaborating with other youth on a climate action project!

Youth for the Environment and People (YEP!) provides an opportunity for students to share ideas and passions, learn about climate change solutions, engage in local stewardship projects, and work together with other youth in choosing, planning, and implementing a group action project. And, of course, have fun!

Together we create a brave space to:

  • Discover, empower, and refine personal skills and talents
  • Practice stepping into leadership roles
  • Meet and work with youth in the region to create and implement a student-led action project
  • Connect with local organizations working to solve local climate change & justice issues in our region
  • Understand the basics of climate change and its intersection with social justice while cultivating a solution-oriented sense of hope. No prior knowledge about climate change necessary, we will provide learning opportunities!

In school, I find that there is not much time to strengthen collaboration skills and this was a great opportunity to do so.” – YEP! 2020 Participant

New this year, we will offer two concurrent cohorts — one in Whatcom and one in Skagit — coming together to participate in two Saturday stewardship projects. Each cohort, using the climate solutions-based framework provided by Project Drawdown, will choose a project that supports carbon sinks or reduces sources of carbon emissions all to better society. Facilitators guide, support, and educate while students lead and work collaboratively on the group action project. Last day to apply is Sunday, September 15th!

More details about our fall 2021 cohort:
  • Applicants must attend high school in Whatcom or Skagit counties (applicants will form two cohorts consisting of 15 students each; one Whatcom, one Skagit)
  • Starting the week of September 20th, both groups of YEP! run for 11 weeks including 2 Saturday stewardship field days, with the last meeting the week of December 6th (no meeting the week of November 22nd)
  • Whatcom cohort will meet Tuesdays from 4:00-5:30 at RE Sources
  • Skagit cohort will meet Tuesdays from 4-5:30 at the North Cascades Institute office in Sedro Woolley
  • We are considering offering a virtual, hybrid, or alternative location for meetings so please apply even if you aren’t able to travel to designated meeting locations
  • YEP! is co-facilitated by (Whatcom cohort) Sasha Savoian, Education Specialist at RE Sources and (Skagit cohort) Elle Gasperini, Youth Leadership Coordinator at North Cascades Institute
  • We provide a $150 stipend upon completion of the group project to compensate students for their time and efforts
  • Meetings will be in person with COVID protocols in place. Vaccinations are required for participants and masks must be worn to ensure everyone’s safety.

Apply today!

YEP! solicitud en espanol

Deadline to apply is September 15th, 2021.

Questions? Please contact:

Sasha Savoian, Education Specialist:

Previous YEP! cohort projects

2020 cohorts: Cohort One centered their environmental justice project around food access inequities. Ultimately, the group decided to make food bags for youth in need in our community. Cohort Two discussed the various ways pollution and disease disproportionately impact Black, Brown, Indigenous, Immigrant, and low-income communities. Ultimately, they decided the project would be twofold: (1) donate COVID-19 safety supplies to those in need, and (2) create a website that included helpful COVID resources. Learn more.

2019 cohort: After studying threats to the endangered Southern Resident orca, this cohort designed and painted a mural along a busy walking path to remind the community about the threats affecting the health of endangered Southern Resident orcas. Learn more.

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