The Youth Sustainability Leadership Program

The Youth Sustainability Leadership Program (YSLP) is a collaborative effort to engage Cleveland high school students in the planning and development of a Youth Sustainability Summit and Career Expo in spring 2017.




The YSLP will introduce Cleveland youth to the concept of sustainability, including information on higher education and career opportunities in sustainability, as well as to identify ways for youth to get involved with sustainability at home, at school, and in their community.


During this process, youth will be guided by members of the City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and a team of community stakeholders, all committed to engaging Cleveland youth in sustainability. Students selected to participate in the YSLP will gain valuable experience planning a sustainability event specifically targeted for their peers and have the opportunity to make history as the first generation of Youth Sustainability Leaders in Cleveland! 


The 8th Annual Sustainable Cleveland Summit was held on Wednesday, September 21st and Thursday, September 22nd, 2016. Thanks to generous support from the Cleveland Foundation, about 50 youth leaders experienced the impact of the 10-year initiative and had the opportunity to interact with leaders in the Sustainable Cleveland community.



  1. Introduce Cleveland youth to the concept of sustainability, including higher education, career opportunities and entrepreneurship.
  2. Empower participating students to be leaders on sustainability at home, in their school and in their community.
  3. Design and implement a plan of action for the first Youth Sustainability Summit and Career Expo.
  4. Develop a model for engaging future generations of Cleveland youth in sustainable activities.



By participating in the Youth Sustainability Leadership Program, students will:

  • Gain exposure to the concept of sustainability, including higher education and career opportunities.
  • Receive mentoring from community stakeholders devoted to sustainability to advance work on environmental issues within Greater Cleveland
  • Get the opportunity to share the knowledge and skills gained from the YSLP with peers through positive action and encouragement.
  • Attain volunteer credit hour requirements and earn Mayoral recognition.
  • Strengthen college admission applications and resumes by gaining valuable event organization, leadership, and entrepreneurial skills.



  • Have an interest in sustainability and developing leadership skills and be self-motivated, open-minded, and eager to learn.
  • Attend the 8th Annual Sustainable Cleveland Summit and actively participate in all activities.
  • Use the skills and experience gained at the Sustainable Cleveland Summit to assist with the development and implementation of the YSS.
  • Attend between 5-7 monthly meetings to plan the YSS.
  • Hold leadership roles at the YSS, helping to engage peers in sustainability and climate action.
  • Provide feedback on how YSLP can be improved for future generations.  



The YSLP includes Cleveland public high school students from grades 9 to 12. Select high school students from private schools are also a part of the program. YSLP participants must meet all requirements for the duration of the program: September 2016 through April 2017.

Approximately 60 students were chosen to participate in the 2016-2017 YSLP.



Contact Stacy Albin at if you have any questions on the program. 


For a pdf of this overview, click here.


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