Youth Environmental Leadership Fellowship

Fellowships starting in Benicia and Vacaville in 2022!

High school students interested in learning and leading in environmental justice efforts are invited to join this program.

  • Research environmental and health challenges that affect your community and others
  • Explore what can be done on an individual, community and policy level to create change
  • Discuss your findings with city leaders & learn what is being done on a city level
  • Participate in hands-on projects that help study and improve the environment
  • Create community presentations that inspire others to take action
  • Participants who complete the full program are eligible for a $500 stipend!

The Youth Environmental Leadership Fellowship creates an opportunity for young leaders to develop the skills needed to shape change in their communities today. Through this program, youth will become knowledge ambassadors within their communities based on their research and hands-on experience. Community members and local leaders will benefit from engaging with Fellowship youth, learning about environmental challenges, and learning ways to take action locally. We hope that the benefits of this program will stretch far beyond the three-month commitment to foster a lifelong dedication to environmental justice and community activism.



  • 3 months: January/February-April
  • 10 weeknight meetings (5:30-7 pm, Tuesdays in Benicia/Thursdays in Vacaville, conducted over Zoom)
  • 4 Saturday hands-on projects (4 hours each, in-person)
  • 1 local food system/cooking class (Zoom)
  • 1 community presentation (in-person)
  • Commit to presenting to one other community group

Priority is given to participants who are a resident or student within the city where the program is being held. Applications are taken until space is filled and then additional interested students will be on a waiting list in case a space opens in the program.

Hands-on projects will be specific to each city for the Fellowship.

These projects could include

  • creating or maintaining a garden,
  • soil or air quality testing,
  • building healthy soil,
  • community engagement meetings
  • and more!

Learn more about the Fellowship schedule in the documents linked below.


Watch a video of the introductory presentation here

Submit an application here!

Benicia – Jan. 11-April 2

Vacaville – Feb. 10-April 16

Support for this program in Benicia comes from the second amendment to the Valero/Good Neighbor Steering Committee Settlement Agreement and Republic Services; and in Vacaville comes from Solano County through Solano Gardens.