Member spotlight: YMCA Earth Service Corps

 logo ymcaYear founded: 1989 
 Location: Seattle, Wash.
 Geograhic scope: King County
 Member rep: Geoff Eseltine

Preparing the next environmental leaders
YMCA student

YESC Environmental Leaders Summit Photo by Alex Crook

To prepare the next generation of environmental leaders, the YMCA Earth Service Corps (YESC) helps young people from diverse backgrounds get outside, engage with their local community and gain tools to enhance the natural world. YESC empowers youth to create a healthier environment through education, service learning and leadership activities.

YESC works with teens across King County to identify environmental issues that are important to them and to design meaningful service projects that address these needs. Projects range from one-time tree plantings, to energy audits, to e-waste recycling, to rain garden construction and much more.
Campaign for water refilling stations
Recently, YESC youth in Seattle recognized that single-use plastic bottles are a major source of waste in local schools. In response, they organized high schools students across the city to advocate for installing water bottle refilling stations in every school. To draw attention to the issue, these young leaders have created petitions, met with school administrators, and addressed the school board.
Environmental Symposium
YESC’s annual Environmental Symposium is set for March 25 this year. Some 150 teens will learn about environmental topics through hands-on workshops led by local environmental professionals. Workshops will connect everyday activities with local environmental problems, empowering teens to take action to improve and protect the local environment by changing personal behaviors.
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