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 Whatcom County 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!

YEP! participants will:

  • Meet and collaborate with other youth in the region to create and implement a student-led action project over the 10-week program
  • Practice stepping into leadership roles
  • Connect with local organizations working to solve climate change in our region
  • Combat concern about the environment with action, solutions, and hope
  • Learn about local and global climate change solutions

YEP! runs for 10 weeks and is offered both in the spring and fall semesters:

  • Spring semester typically runs February-May, with applications opening in January. Whatcom County only.
  • Fall semester typically runs October-December, with applications opening in September. Cohorts offered both in Whatcom and Skagit counties in the fall.

I had never had a chance to join an official group or be a part of a project to make a change and help the community. This was my first time and definitely not my last” — Ay, 2023 YEP! Participant

Spring 2024 theme: Energy and Justice

This spring, we’re gathering a cohort of 15 high school students in Whatcom County who will explore the topic of energy. Over 10 weeks, you’ll learn about renewable energy, gaining skills to help you advocate on the local level for transitioning off fossil fuels – all while investigating how energy solutions can double as social justice solutions. Students will choose a project to design and implement that takes action on energy. The facilitator will guide, support, and educate while students lead and work collaboratively on the group action project.

More details about the program
  • Applicants must attend high school in Whatcom County
  • YEP! is facilitated by Cambry Baker, Youth Engagement Coordinator at RE Sources
  • This program will run weekly on Tuesdays from 4:00 to 6:00pm
  • We provide a $150 stipend upon completion of the group project to compensate students for their time and work
Questions? Please contact:

Details, how to apply, and benefits for 2024


Application due: 10:00pm Monday, February 5th

When will I know if I’ve been accepted? Between February 7th and 8th. You must confirm your acceptance and submit a liability form by February 12th. Note that all correspondence will happen via email.

Who can participate? Applicants must attend high school in Whatcom County. There are 15 spots available in the spring cohort.

When is it? Starting February 20th, YEP! runs for 10 weeks including two additional field days, dates TBD, ending the week of April 30th (no meeting the week of April 2nd for Spring break).

Where and when are the meetings? We’ll meet Tuesdays from 4:00–6:00pm at the RE Sources offices: 2309 Meridian St, Bellingham, upstairs from The RE Store. See a map.

Who are the facilitators? The Whatcom cohort is facilitated by Cambry Baker, Education Specialist at RE Sources. The Skagit cohort is led by a Youth Leadership Adventures staff at North Cascades Institute.

What are the benefits? We provide a $150 stipend upon completion of the group project to compensate students for their time and efforts. Must attend 10 of the 12 meetings/field days and participate in the group project to receive the stipend.

Take Action

Be a part of changing the world


Past YEP! Projects

Fall 2023 – Flooding

Whatcom Cohort: Interested in educating the next generation about flooding mitigation, students led 45 Wild Whatcom elementary students in hands-on flooding lessons afterschool, as well as hosted a restoration work party.

Skagit Cohort: To help their community be flood prepared, students designed and distributed a flooding preparedness “how-to” brochure to neighbors and community members, alongside homemade baked goods.


Spring 2023 – Fast Fashion

Interested in helping their peers ditch fast fashion, students hosted an outdoor clothing swap to raise awareness of the impacts of fast fashion and keep textiles out of the landfill.

Learn about how students addressed fast fashion.


Fall 2022 – Food Waste

Whatcom Cohort: Following their passion for food justice, students held an educational event at the Bellingham Farmers Market and hand-painted 36 ceramic bowls that they sold to raise over $900 for the Bellingham Food Bank.

Skagit Cohort: For their action project, the Skagit cohort decided to focus on improving food composting at their local schools, as well as educating the local community about the importance of composting and its effect on reducing climate change.

Learn more about how students tackled food waste on our blog.


Fall 2021 – Carbon Sources and Sinks

Whatcom Cohort: YEP! students partnered with NSEA to co-host a tree planting work party along Squalicum Creek and planted 28 trees just after historic flooding in November with the help of other passionate youth from Ferndale High School.

Skagit Cohort: Through exploration of carbon sinks (a natural system that can limit climate change by storing carbon from the atmosphere) the Skagit students discovered the Kulshan Carbon Trust and decided to create a well-researched brochure for the non-profit that would educate stakeholders on their programs.

Check out their carbon-sequestration projects


Fall 2020 – Environmental Justice

Whatcom Cohort: After deciding to center their project around food inequity, students sewed 20 bags out of old t-shirts and filled them with food, a gift card to a local food establishment, notes of encouragement and a list of helpful resources and donated them to NorthWest Youth Services.

Skagit Cohort: In a two-part project, students donated COVID-19 safety supplies to those in need, and created a website that included helpful COVID resources, highlighting the link between a healthy environment and healthy people, while providing important background information about environmental justice.

Find out more about how these teens worked for environmental justice.

Spring 2019 – Orca Health

Whatcom Cohort: Students channeled their passions with paint to raise awareness about the perils facing the Southern Resident Orcas of the Salish Sea through making an art mural on the side of the RE Store.

See their mural and the work they accomplished.

Spring 2018 – Pilot Program

Whatcom: This cohort marks the launch of YEP!. RE Sources partnered with Sahar Arbab, a WWU grad student, to design, trial, and evaluate the first iteration of Youth for the Environment and People! Students in this cohort explored climate solutions, participated in focus groups, and planned a letter-writing event.


Dive In

Join the fight for clean water, thriving forests and healthy communities.