Youth voices matter
Youth for the Environment and People (YEP!) is a youth empowerment program for high school students in Whatcom County and Skagit Counties. YEP! will run 10-12 weeks guiding up to 30 students through the process of choosing and implementing a final action project. The program is student-led, and RE Sources provides leadership opportunities, communication tools, confidence-building skills, and a safe space for participants to take action on an environmental issue.
Fall 2020 theme: Environmental Justice.
Check out what the YEP! students did in 2019: After studying threats to the endangered Southern Resident orca, they 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.
During COVID’s isolation and a year of crises, YEP! connects students and fills in for cancelled activities
Today’s students are growing up in a world increasingly destabilized by the climate crisis, widening inequality, and political leaders who are quick to talk but slow to act. On top of that, now students have been isolated—and even when schools return to in-person learning, high schools will likely be the last to do so. At a time when there are few viable opportunities to engage, YEP! provides students a positive space to put their passions and interests to work that might take the place of sports or other extracurriculars that aren’t happening right now. YEP! helps students create real-world connections and an outlet to deal with real-world problems.
YEP! participants come from all over Whatcom and Skagit Counties. Running the program virtually removes transportation and scheduling barriers, so the students have an opportunity to work with peers they don’t ordinarily have the chance to meet.
Workshops and skills we’ll work on
We provide a $200 stipend upon completion of the group project to compensate students for their time and efforts. Their time is valuable and we understand this. To ensure everyone’s safety, weekly workshops will run virtually on Zoom with creative, fun, and collaborative activities participants can engage in throughout the 10-week period. YEP! is student-led, with the guidance of a Sustainable Schools Education Specialist. Topics include:
- Creating a fun, creative, and safe space
- Meeting and collaborating with students from other schools
- Sharpening leadership skills
- Learning from advocacy experts from the community
- Creating and implementing a student-led action project
*Must attend 8 out of the 10 meetings and help with action project to receive the stipend, no exceptions.*
Requirements for participation
- Be in high school (9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade).
- Live in Whatcom or Skagit Counties.
- Access to WiFi and a device (if this presents a barrier, contact Sasha Savoian at sashas@re-sources)
- Be able to meet Tuesday afternoons via Zoom from 3:30-5:00 p.m. starting October 6th.
For more information:
Contact Sasha Savoian, Education Specialist: SashaS@re-sources.org