Young Environmental Leaders Program (YELP)

The Young Environmental Leaders Program (YELP) provides a unique opportunity for high school students to learn about local environmental issues and innovative solutions being pursued.

The Program

The Young Environmental Leaders Program is an immersive education and mentoring program for high school students residing in environmental justice communities.

This program provides an opportunity for students interested in the STEM fields to gain a heightened understanding of environmental principles while exploring local environmental issues.

Students learn from local environmental experts and activists which provide career connections and showcase the impact of community action. Upon completion of YELP, students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to become active participants and leaders in their local community in respect to the environment. This program cultivates environmental leaders who will inspire social change and fight for environmental justice. A summer mentorship opportunity is presented for select students to continue their exploration into local environmental topics and leadership development through job shadowing, field monitoring, public outreach, stewardship, and public speaking.

Buffalo Public Schools
Suny Erie Community College
College Credit Provider
Niagara Falls High School
Niagara Wheatfield High School
Niagara University
College Credit Provider
Niagara County Community College
College Credit Provider
See what students are saying about YELP!

This program has had a big impact on me. After I finished the program I started cleaning my environment. I started keeping tanks (rain barrels) so I can use rain water and save water. I have been teaching my friends, neighbors, and family how to keep our environment clean.

Champa2017 YELP Student

Being involved in the Young Environmental Leaders Program really made me want to do environmental science as a career, and inspired me to get more involved with my community.

Mira2018 YELP Student

I enjoyed going to different places and learning how each one impacted my life or the environment in various different ways. I gained more knowledge and experience about environmental issues and more resources on how to engage my community to help improve the environment.

Shanti2018 YELP Student

The YELP program gave me a ton of information on how we can improve and protect our water quality and I feel that these methods alongside some of the emerging and ongoing programs will help me in a future career.

Shahed2018 YELP Student

Participating in YELP has allowed me to more consciously look into issues I care about and search for their underlying causes or trends. Our lesson about environmental justice prompted my passion for learning about socio-political-economic issues that are the roots of many other issues including environmental issues. Before that lesson, I would have never made the connection and probably wouldn’t be in the major I am in right now nor would I be doing the kind of community work that I enjoy now.

Mahima2019 YELP Student

YELP has allowed me personally to be more connected with the job aspect of the environment. I have always had a strong passion for environmental work, but I had never had an idea of what to do with my passion. YELP has helped me to see that I can work in many different fields and will have several different paths that I can personally take. I like the aspect of being able to teach others so seeing all of the people we have met making a career out of environmental education outside of the classroom was very helpful and inspiring.

Marissa2021 YELP Student
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