Youth Climate Leadership Program Comes to South East
November 01, 2023
What is it like to come of age alongside the rapid progression of climate change? Climate change is increasingly impacting people and the environment, and young people, including those living right here on the South Coast, are particularly affected.
Mass Audubon’s Youth Climate Leadership Program (YCLP) is an action-oriented program aimed at creating a space for learning, conversation, networking, and youth-led climate solutions. The YCLP has had great success in Mass Audubon regions across the state and we’re excited to be bringing the program to the South East region!
Understanding Community Wants & Needs
We started the program by surveying and held listening sessions with as many young people as possible in the cities of Fall River and New Bedford to learn more about their experiences, thoughts, and ideas around climate change impacts and solutions. From this process, we learned that youth are experiencing a variety of climate impacts on the South coast, but they also have so many incredible ideas for community-level climate solutions!
Designing Community Impact
With this feedback in mind, we set to work creating the South East Region’s YCLP cohort with the goal of supporting and mentoring local youth in implementing the climate change solutions they wish to see in their community. Participants learn about climate change science, impacts, and solutions, in addition to creating and implementing a Climate Action Project (CAP) that champions the solutions they care about the most in their community.
So far, we have partnered with the New Bedford Boys & Girls Club, New Bedford Parks & Recreation, and Durfee High School to hold the first YCLP pilot programs. In addition to leading a community-focused CAP, youth leaders can join the South East YCLP Regional Leadership Group, which will begin meeting via Zoom in early 2024 to plan our first regional Climate Action Summit!
Joining South East's Youth Climate Leadership Program
If you or someone you know is 14-18 years old and passionate about climate change, the Youth Climate Leadership Program (YCLP) may be for you!
Collaborate with peers, work on a Climate Action Project, and gain advocacy skills - your voice will help create and support climate change solutions on the SouthCoast. Community organizations and schools interested in participating in the Youth Climate Leadership Program are also encouraged to reach out. Contact [email protected] to learn more and sign up!