Lead social change in your community as a Climate Leader!

YCI’s Youth Climate Leadership Program supports young people in the GTHA, aged 19-25, to grow leadership skills and enhance their careers while engaging their communities and driving climate change action.


Join us in this exclusive opportunity to build skills, network and make a real impact in your community!

Youth leading change for a better future

YCI’s 6-month Youth Climate Leadership Program provides young people exclusive access to training, mentorship and experience leading a team to create and catalyze community-based climate action initiatives that make a positive impact.

Access resources to enhance your career

Gain skills and experience in youth mobilization, project design, community development, social innovation and more.

Join YCI’s Climate Action Network

Connect with 300+ youth and change-makers across the GTHA, including customized coaching and mentorship to support your growth.

Drive positive community impact

Engage like-minded youth to design and implement a community-based climate action initiative that makes a real impact.

Check out what past Climate Leaders had to say!
Lead social change action with YCI to make an impact!

Catalyze a community-based climate action project as a YCI Climate Leader. Climate Leaders receive comprehensive training on designing and growing sustainable projects, youth mobilization and community development as well as climate science and traditional ecological knowledge. Climate Leaders also receive customized coaching, mentorship, and more.

Leadership & Youth Mobilization Training

Learn about leading with courage and mobilizing other youth by identifying your values and challenging your limiting beliefs.

Climate Action 101

Learn the basics of climate change, the importance of local context and climate communications best practices.

Design Thinking: Unpacking Complex Problems

Learn about breaking down complex problems, gathering insights through design research and exploring the opportunity space.

Design Thinking: Designing Innovative Solutions

Reframe your problem and opportunity + learn more about design thinking, ideation, and brainstorming.

Design Thinking: Design Development & Building Strategy

Develop and refine your project idea, learn about the Theory of Change and build a pilot project strategy.

Design Thinking: Project Planning

Dive into the nitty-gritty of planning your project, including resource mapping, milestones, budgets and partnerships.

Grant Writing Workshop

Learn the basics of grant writing and how to access seed funding for your pilot project.

Special Topics and Guest Speaker Sessions

Gain knowledge and learn from guest speakers in specialized areas such as Policy Change and Advocacy, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and more!

Learn more about the program
Am I the right fit?

You’ll fit right in if you:

  • You want to make a real impact on climate change in your community.
  • Want to learn and grow climate action leadership skills.
  • Are excited about engaging other like-minded young people to take action.
Am I eligible to apply for this program?
  • You’re 19-25 years old.
  • You live in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA).
  • You want to build your leadership skills, engage with other youth and design a climate action project to create positive change in your community.
How do I apply for the leadership program?

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received. Successful applicants will be contacted within 2 weeks to schedule an interview. Apply early and don’t miss the chance to participate in this unique program and join our Climate Action Network.

Do I need to have a pre-existing project or project idea to apply

No, you do not need to have an established project or project idea to apply. To be eligible, you need to show passion and commitment to growing leadership skills and creating a positive impact through engaging your community in climate action.

What is the time commitment?

Participants can expect 3-5 hours weekly for virtual training sessions, asynchronous learning and project implementation. Training sessions are held on weekday evenings once per week for the first 2 months then staggered biweekly for the remaining program. There is also 1 half-day weekend Leadership Development session.

In addition to structured training sessions, participants are expected to dedicate time outside of training to iterate and implement their climate action project. This time commitment can vary based on the scope of the climate solution.

How do I get access to funding?

You will access funds through a grant proposal process which will be evaluated on a set of criteria and approved by YCI before funds are administered.

How are you defining a climate action project?

A climate action project can be broadly defined to address, whether directly or indirectly, the causes, inputs and/or symptoms of climate change.

Can I participate as a team?

Your participation in the program will primarily be as an individual. The program invests in both your personal leadership and your project. However, YCI encourages and will provide opportunities for you to engage others in your project and in the program. Some programming may be made available to your broader team, if applicable.

I see that part of the program is about engaging other young people in the design or implementation of my climate action project. What is the requirement for engaging other youth?

Your participation in the program will primarily be as an individual. The program invests in both your personal leadership and your project. However, there will be opportunities for you to engage others in your project and in the program. Some programming may be made available to your broader team, if applicable.

Each participant is expected to engage a minimum of 2-6 other young people in their project in some way. Engagement can range from recruiting team members to help design your project, consulting with youth on solution design or engaging youth in spreading awareness of and/or access to your solution. The purpose of the program is to harness the potential of youth to drive positive climate action. YCI encourages many different forms of youth engagement to achieve this.

How will the program adhere to social distancing measures?

The Youth Climate Leadership Program has adapted to operate in a virtual context as long as necessary and will adhere to all recommendations and social distancing measures advised by local and national health authorities. Our training, meetings and team collaborations will occur virtually until gatherings of small and large groups are appropriate. All climate action projects will be designed with social distancing measures considered.


While we can’t be together face-to-face, climate action momentum must continue. We will work together to design creative community-based climate solutions while keeping safe.

“YCI showed me that I can actually have an impact on things… I felt like there was indeed no limit to what we can do if we just put our minds to it.”

- YCI Climate Action Network member

The page links in this footer are currently available in English only. Should you have any questions and would like to speak to a French representative, please contact us

Innovate MY Future!

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