Youth in Yosemite Signature Project
“I hope to continue working in national parks, preserving and protecting our precious wild lands and educating others about the importance of doing so,” wrote Catherine, age 22, after spending a summer working with the California Conservation Corps (CCC).
Youth in Yosemite Programs are engaging youth and young adults such as Catherine to become environmental stewards and community leaders. These programs open up a whole new world for youth, many of whom are from underserved communities and have never been to a national park. For many, it is also their first hike, their first campsite, and the opening up of new educational, career and life choices that would not be available otherwise.
Youth in Yosemite spans the entire range of youth development. This includes young children earning their Junior Ranger badge during day trips, to high-school students embarking on multiday wilderness expeditions.
Other students arrive in the park to continue building the experience and skills needed for college placement. College interns spend their summers working alongside park staff and getting on-the-job training with the goal of eventually working in Yosemite.
Youth participate in projects ranging from trail repair to wilderness restoration. They leave the park with valuable new leadership and teamwork skills, along with increased literacy and community-service experience. Best of all, most leave inspired, such as Rebecca, a Yosemite Leadership Program (YLP) participant, who wrote: “I learned that my voice is worthy of being heard and people want to hear me — and that has made all the difference.”
Watch our Youth in Yosemite video.
2014 Youth In Yosemite programs:
- Engage the Class of 2016 in Park Stewardship
- Erase Eco-Graffiti in the Valley
- Junior Ranger Program
- Leadership through Adventure: Youth Development with ARC
- Parks In Focus: Youth Photography Program
- Student Conservation Corps (SCA) Interns Digitize Museum Archives
- Teens Connect to Yosemite through WildLink
- Trail Rehabilitation by CCC Crews: Echo Valley & Kerrick Canyon
- Restore Wilderness with SCA Crews
- Restore Popular Climbing Trails
- Wilderness Education Center at UC Merced
- WildLink Alumni Explore Yosemite Careers
- Yosemite Leadership Program Summer Internship
Read full length poems from Youth in Yosemite participants in the ARC program, click here