Youth-Led Environmental Leadership

YMCA Earth Service Corps (YESC) is an innovative youth-led program that empowers students to take a hands-on role in creating a healthier environment in their schools, communities, and region while nurturing a respect for diversity within the natural world. 

Young people in Earth Service Corps are recognized as valuable leaders who collaborate with peers, teachers, and community members to solve pressing environmental issues in their communities.

Upcoming Events

Article Club | October 22, 4:00 - 5:15pm
Join us for our first Article Club of the year! Youth across the Puget Sound will come together to discuss an article that addresses a current environmental issue impacting our community. Register now for more information and to receive the article! Registration closes October 22 at 12:00pm >

Leadership Retreat | October 24, 1:00 - 3:00pm
It’s a new virtual world out there. Join YESC’s Leadership Retreat to learn how to recruit and retain club members in a virtual setting, how to plan virtual events, and how to plan hands-on activities that you can still do over video! The Leadership Retreat will help you translate the amazing leadership skills you already have to virtual meetings and help you learn new skills too! Set yourself and your green teams up for success online this year. Registration closes October 23 at 12:00pm >

Make your Voice Heard | November 5, 4:00 - 5:15pm
The election is almost over. What's next? How do we continue to advocate for our wild and wonderful natural spaces every day? We only get to vote once every four years for the President, and Seattle youth know the climate crisis can't wait. Join us as we write letters to the editor and make your voice heard. Registration closes November 5 at 12:00pm >

Environmental Leaders Summit | Save the Date - December 11
We are hosting a forum for local teens and adults from around the Puget Sound to discuss environmental issues facing our communities. The summit will consist of multiple sessions in which youth and adults will be able to discuss environmental topics and issues they care about. Please provide us with a few topics that interest you or you would like to discuss.  Share your thoughts >

About YESC

YMCA Earth Service Corps emerged out of an idea Bill Sieverling, then director of the YMCA of the USA’s International Office in Asia, proposed in the 1989 issue of the YMCA publication, International Notes. He suggested that given the YMCA’s tradition of youth leadership development and concern for the natural world that there was an opportunity to engage youth in a service-based leadership program that addressed growing concerns about the global environment.

Get Involved

YMCA Earth Service Corps is driven by its clubs. Teens meet weekly to take on the environmental issues facing their communities and create projects to address these needs. Club meetings take place before, during or after school. Meetings can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours and are led by youth leaders, YMCA staff and Teacher Advisors.


YMCA Earth Service Corps has been supporting environmental service projects and leadership development for over twenty years. We have the knowledge and experience to help teens, clubs and schools reach new heights, develop youth leaders and create meaningful change in the community. If you're looking to start a club at your school or want to take your club to new heights we can provide the resources to help you reach your goals.

Alumni & Volunteers

Since 1989 young people have grown as leaders and addressed the environmental issues facing our world through participating in the YMCA Earth Service Corps. For many these opportunities instilled a lifelong ethic of stewardship that drives them as educators, engineers, scientists and volunteers. Are you an Alumni? We'd love to hear from you.