Youth4Climate Update

By Kathryn Chen, Intern & Co-Coordinator of Youth4Climate Fellowship

This past September, the Youth4Climate Team began the first term of its Youth Climate Fellowship Program. As the Youth4Climate Intern this term, I worked for the past 4 months largely behind-the-scenes in planning, developing, and running this program. Now, at the end of this tumultuous year with the second term of the fellowship only a few weeks ahead, I am so pleased to look back on how much Y4C has grown.

During the fall term, we hired 5 inspiring high-school fellows for 12 weeks to train as climate activists, lead volunteer teams with a total of 28 youth volunteers, and enact specific projects to advance Y4C’s goals of educating, supporting, and inspiring youth to take climate action. Our Strategic Campaigns team laid the groundwork for an impressive California anti-fracking campaign. Our Volunteer Coordination team met with new volunteers, funneled them into teams and projects that interested them, and hosted engaging weekly community calls with roughly 20 regular attendees. Our Actions team developed weekly challenges for youth to take climate action, as well as organized and hosted events such as a voting walkout and a career webinar. Throughout, our Communications team kept everyone updated through social media posts, graphics, and a stylish weekly newsletter. Finally, our Education & Outreach team gave impactful presentations on climate change at our weekly calls and to local schools. 

I am so proud of all our fellows and youth volunteers—the hard work they put in, the skills they have gained, and the stirring change they have made in our community. Every one of them teaches me, inspires me, and gives me such joy and hope for our future. Our adult volunteers, interns, and various staff at SD350 have also given us so much support throughout this learning process, and I am so grateful for all of their work in shaping what this program has become.

Flyer for a youth climate career discussion

This first fellowship term taught the Youth4Climate Team so much about our capacity to organize, train, and support our passionate local youth. As we now plan and develop programming for the spring term, I’m excited to apply what we learned from every success, every roadblock, every memorable moment from this past year. In the spring, we are looking forward to hiring a new set of high-school fellows to build on all of the work done in the fall, and we are so thrilled at this opportunity to train and support more youth climate leaders, increase the reach of our movement, and continue making meaningful change in our community.

About Masada D

Masada Disenhouse co-founded SanDiego350 in 2011 and serves as its Executive Director. She is passionate about engaging volunteers and growing a powerful climate change movement.

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