Transform Fresno Youth Leadership Program

Transform Fresno Youth Leadership Development Program brings youth voice to a critical movement to address the climate crisis in Fresno. 

In November of 2016, the California Strategic Growth Council selected Fresno as one of three cities in the state to be a pilot for their new Transformative Climate Communities Program (TCC). The purpose of the Program is to nurture creative project ideas and to guide the City of Fresno in funding neighborhood-level climate community plans that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing local economic, environmental and health benefits to disadvantaged communities in downtown, Chinatown, and southwest Fresno. 

A collaboration between yli and Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission’s (EOC) Street Saints, the Youth Cohort is a year-long program which seeks to develop young people both professionally and personally, growing their leadership skills to serve as ambassadors for Transform Fresno. Transform Fresno Youth Leaders will be trained in the areas of environmental justice, community engagement, public speaking, and more. These skills will equip Transform Fresno Youth Leaders to support and uplift local TCC projects and Transform Fresno community meetings.

In addition to the Youth Cohort, in the summer of 2021 we launched the Summer Workshop Series: a four-week interactive, hands-on set of workshops introducing young people to Transform Fresno and projects within the Transform project area. Workshops included: 

  • A tour of the Yosemite Village (aka Yo’Ville) Permaculture Community Garden and Urban Farm Incubator, a planting session in partnership with the Inside-Out Community Garden at the Sunset Community Center
  • A mind-gut connection salsa-making workshop
  • An environmental justice 101 workshop, where youth learned about the varieties of plants cultivated in the garden that make it to our plates and how these plants and food outlets connect to environmental justice. 

For some youth, their participation in this workshop series was the first time they heard of Transform Fresno. Stay tuned for more workshops in the Summer of 2022! 

Interested in joining?

We hope to build a strong, dynamic team of active participants as part of a leadership pipeline for the Transform Climate Communities project area. The Youth Cohort meets on a bi-weekly basis and are conducted virtually via Zoom or Google Hangouts. To learn more about how you can join the Youth Cohort, reach out to Kato at [email protected]