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Youth Mentorship & Environmental Stewardship

Building Agency & Social Support for Future Generations 

YMES connects young adults with inspiring role models and peer mentors in the environmental stewardship field—actively engaging them with "real talk" and "real action" to spark hope, courage, and resilience in the face of climate change.

Youth mental health is a rapidly growing crisis around the world.

A warming planet. Extreme natural disasters. Political polarization. Species extinction. Pollution. Deforestation. Violence, war, and displacement.


These tragedies, when compounded by broader-than-ever media coverage, can leave us all with feelings of despair. Burnout, climate anxiety, and climate grief are all being felt. Children, teens, and young adults (the current "Generation Z") are especially affected, with high levels of mental distress. And, for activists, advocates, students, and environmental protectors who seek to bring about change, it can be easy to feel that our efforts aren't making a difference.

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Fostering connection through mentorship is a simple, but effective, solution.

Through intentional, compassionate mentorship, we work to create spaces where we can talk honestly and openly with each other about our worldly fears, hopes and aspirations, and doubts about ourselves. Initiating those conversations is important: if we don’t talk, we risk increased feelings of isolation, powerlessness, and hopelessness. When this "real talk" is paired with "real action" via community-based projects, young adults can feel not only seen and heard in their experiences, but capable of doing something about the problem and a sense of belonging alongside others doing the same.


In these ways and more, mentorship provides critical social support to youth bearing the emotional toll of climate change and other global problems.

My mentor set me on a different path. One in which my heart plays as much a role in my choices as my head does. Our quiet talks have taught me infinitely more about the world and my place in it than any curriculum ever could.

West C.

Countless Benefits, Backed By Science

From the personal stories of our mentored pairs, we know that this approach works. But the benefits of mentorship are also backed by scientific studies.

Researchers across disciplines have found that 

mentoring is a key contributor to individual development, professional performance, and well-being(1). More importantly, mentorship is significantly related to favorable behavioral, attitudinal, health-related, interpersonal, motivational, and career outcomes (2). 

And, when we look at the bigger picture, we can see how mentoring youth with an environmental lens impacts much more than the individual: it has positive ripple effects across the social and environmental ecosystems. 

Co-benefits of working at the climate change, mental health, children/youth intersection. Graphic by Gislason, M. K., Kennedy, A. M., & Witham, S. M. (2021).

Co-benefits of working at the climate change, mental health, children/youth intersection. 
Copyright 2021 by Gislason, M. K., Kennedy, A. M., & Witham, S. M.,
en access article CC BY 4.0.

By creating deep mentorship connections on personal and professional levels, we can foster resilience in the spirits of young and old alike, and continue to solve the problems of our time—together. 

Partnering Mentors

Experience. Leadership. Compassion.

Our YMES mentor consultants are carefully vetted not only for their environmental expertise, but also for their experience and/or professional skills as adult mentors to youth.

From Our Newsletter


Connect with us to learn how you can get involved in our youth mentorship initiative and make an impact on the next generation of changemakers.

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