Youth for the Environment and People (YEP!)

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

Youth voices matter

Today’s students are growing up in a world increasingly destabilized by the climate crisis and widening inequality which can be overwhelming. Young people can feel powerless to make change because they lack information, tools and examples of how these big environmental challenges can be overcome. Youth for the Environment and People (YEP!) helps students create real-world connections and an outlet to deal with real-world problems.

YEP! empowers local high school students to capitalize on their passions, develop leadership skills, participate in civic life, protect the natural world, and use their voice to help solve environmental and climate change problems. We mentor, coach, educate, and offer place-based learning while students work collaboratively on an action project.

“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

During the YEP! program, high school students meet once a week for 12 weeks to participate in imaginative, fun, and collaborative activities that support a culminating project.

Together we create a safe space to:
  • Collaborate with students from other schools
  • Learn about youth leaders forging new paths for change
  • Sharpen leadership skills
  • Hear from experts in the community
  • Think critically about climate justice problems and solutions
  • Create and implement a student-led action project
More details about our fall 2021 cohort:
  • High school students from Whatcom and Skagit counties can apply.
  • We provide a stipend upon completion of the group project to compensate students for their time and efforts. Their time is valuable and we understand this.
  • Workshops are held once a week for 12 weeks with optional activities offered throughout the program.
  • Check back in August for more details including the YEP! application, and exact dates, times, and locations (we are following COVID-19 protocols which will determine whether we meet in person, online, or a hybrid).
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.

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.

A prosperous future depends on people of all ages who know how to address climate change impacts, safeguard air and water quality, strengthen and build a climate-resilient community, and champion environmental justice.

For more information:

Contact Sasha Savoian, Education Specialist:

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