The Youth Sustainability Leadership Program



Deadline extended to Wednesday, October 13, 2021!


The Youth Sustainable Leadership Program (YSLP) is entering its 5th year! And, this year we are changing things up – a lot! We are continuing to connect students to sustainability in a tangible way by helping students understand sustainability is EVERYWHERE, especially in Public Administration. However, this year we are incorporating environmental education into a project that provides professional opportunities for students to build a resume, soft skills, and hands-on learning experiences over the course of one school year. This will lower the barriers to entry for jobs, create champions of sustainability, and bridge the divide that exists between the professional and urban environments.


Together, using a hybrid approach, we will be utilizing skills learned due to all of us experiencing remote working – due to the pandemic. You know the past year was a challenge. Each of you learned more amazing ways to use technology. We thought, why not build on what you learned as a way to reduce the costs associated with programming – lowering barriers to entry by having group, in-person content and contextualize experiences.


This year we’re excited to add more content, virtual field trips (potentially in-person), special peer demonstrations, and more opportunities for our students to learn about sustainability in everyday life. We’re looking forward to hearing all about student efforts when we convene next month at the Sustainable Cleveland 2021 Virtual Summit from October 20th-21st!


YSLP Program and Objectives


We think this is a very unique opportunity because each of you will have the ability to see multiple organizations, learn about sustainability from experts, build knowledge, and apply what you learn in a way that adds to your professional development.


The YSLP will provide:

  • Networking opportunities
  • Peer to peer content sharing
  • Student engagement across the city from public and private institutions
  • Soft skills development in a safe environment
  • Create opportunities for students to learn about and develop areas of interest for further professional development
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Connect students with internships, summer employment, and shadowing opportunities – with a focus on public administration and sustainability

As a participant in YSLP, each student is tasked with:

  • Having an interest in sustainability and developing leadership skills, and be self-motivated, open-minded, and eager to learn
  • Use the skills and experience gained at the Sustainable Cleveland Summit to develop and implement sustainability projects at home, school, or in the community
  • Attend 12 meetings throughout the school year
  • Provide feedback on how YSLP can be improved for future generations
  • Develop project idea(s) or ways to incorporate sustainability into existing school/community projects at the 2021 Sustainable Cleveland Summit
  • With support from the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, continue development/implement projects throughout the school year – specifically for peers
  • Share projects with peers and community members through activities and presentations

Annually students are invited to attend the Sustainable Cleveland Summit. With generous support from our sponsors, participating students learn the impact Sustainable Cleveland has had in our city and region and opportunities to interact with leaders in the community. Guided by members of the City of Cleveland Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and a team of community stakeholders, students will design, record, and implement sustainability projects that will have a positive impact on their school, peers, and community.

YSLP 2021-2022 Tentative Schedule (October 13, 2021 – April 16, 2022)


The 2021-2022 cohort of YSLP will include experiences in all aspects of sustainability, filled with lots of information, lessons to learn and even activities for students to conduct with their peers. The tentative program schedule is detailed below, including meeting schedules, agendas, and information on the final project. 


Bi-weekly sessions begin October 2021 and end in April 2022 on every other Saturday of each month unless otherwise noted. Program Days are from 10am until 1pm.  Students may miss one day and remain eligible for graduation from the program.




  1. Complete the online application form:  Youth Sustainability Leadership Program 2021-2022 OR

  2. Download the PDF application form and email it to Philena Seldon at [email protected]


Please note that the application requires permission from both the student's parent/guardian, a teacher and/or principal, and a letter of reference.

Deadline extended to Wednesday, October 13, 2021!