Building youth capacity to affect climate and energy policy has long been at the center of our youth programming. In Minnesota, and across the Midwest, youth are critical partners in passing historic legislation and defending hard-won gains. Leveraging our partnership with the RE-AMP Network, Climate Generation provides valuable support for emerging leaders across the region via trainings, access to funding, networking, mentorship and leadership opportunities. Locally, our YEA! MN program provides a suite of workshops on leadership development and ongoing opportunities to engage in state and local policy campaigns – directly supporting youth capacity to affect change at the state level and in their local communities.
Our Emerging Leaders Mentorship Program connects youth climate leaders and veteran staff at organizations across the Midwest working at the intersection of climate change. The program emphasizes an egalitarian relationship, where both participants are recognized as teachers and learners. The program provides an opportunity to match pairs on emergent policy campaigns and other growth areas in the larger climate movement, tapping intergenerational perspectives and new networks to support personal growth, regional climate campaigns and the Midwest climate movement.
Through YEA! MN our students receive direct mentorship from program staff to support their engagement in policy campaigns at the local, state and federal level. This includes coaching on public testimony and other public speaking opportunities, support for media outreach and communications, and support to fully engage as active members in high level campaign planning and strategy.
Climate Generation has been convening young people across the Midwest since 2009 when we first partnered with the RE-AMP Network to establish the RE-AMP Youth Caucus. The Youth Caucus continues to be space where youth climate leaders across the Midwest come together to share strategy, build community, and engage in the RE-AMP Network of 160 non-profit environmental organizations and foundations. In Minnesota, our youth program convenes hundreds of youth across the state every year for our annual Youth Lobby Day and a range trainings and events hosted by and for youth focused on capacity building, education, and peer networking.