Youth Conservation Leadership Institute

FrogletsInWaterWhat is the Youth Conservation Leadership Institute and how does it work?

Youth Conservation Leadership Institute(YCLI) is a recognition program for students that focuses on volunteer service and environmental stewardship.  YCLI began as an expansion of Youth Conservation Camp in an effort to keep students engaged in the environmental topics introduced at camp. YCLI offers high school students interested in environmental conservation and stewardship an opportunity to build leadership skills and connect with local mentors involved with environmental issues. 

Students may submit applications to the VASWCD in July and August. Those accepted into the program will be notified of acceptance by September.  Program participants are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of community service with a conservation focus.  The hours may be done as part of a single project or a series of projects but all projects must be approved by the VASWCD.  Participants will need to acquire a program sponsor such as a local Soil & Water Conservation District or other similar conservation related organization.   The YCLI sponsor will assist the participant with finding a service project that fits their interest and the needs of the community.  The sponsor will also serve as a mentor for the participant to report to and receive guidance along the way.

There will be conference call in  meeting at the beginning of the program to allow all participants a chance to meet and brainstorm for their projects.

The program will conclude with an awards and recognition ceremony to be held in March.  The recognition program agenda will include time for participants to speak about their work and hear from key speakers in the conservation field.

YCLI is a unique opportunity for high school students to receive experience and engage in networking opportunities to prepare them for future education and career paths.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

In 2017, students attending Youth Conservation Camp will be given priority during the application process, though all interested students are encouraged to connect with the VASWCD and apply. Students with a strong interest in natural resources conservation and related fields are encouraged to apply.  The 2017-2018 YCLI application can be downloaded here. Applications are due by August 18th and can be emailed to Bonnie.mahl@vaswcd.org or mailed to the following address:

VASWCD

7308 Hanover Green Drive, Suite 100

Mechanicsville, VA 23111

                                                             Some examples of YCLI Participants Projects

 

About YCLI Alumni                                                                           

Seth Hatfield Prince William SWCD

Seth Hatfield
Prince William SWCD

                                             What past participants had said about YCLI

” I really enjoyed being able to help giver back to my community with a project that YCLI helped me start.”- Kennan Okada

“My favorite part of the program was implementing the project I helped plan and organize. I loved being able to see my ideas become a reality and I loved seeing how my project beneficially impacted students and adults in my community”- 2016 YCLI Participant

“This is one of the only programs in our area that allows sutdents a one-on-one experience with people working in conservation.”- 2016 YCLI Participant

“My favorite part of the program was meeting a mentor from the SWCD. This gave me insight into the filed of conservation and a way to stay involved. ” -2016 YCLI Participant

 

The Youth Conservation Leadership Program is made possible with support from the Virginia Environmental Endowment.