Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture enthusiastic and responsible environmental stewardship among underserved youth and young adults while exposing them to conservation and environmental careers. GYF believes that it is absolutely vital that all children have access to natural places. Exposing children in urban communities to the outdoors and teaching them to protect and nurture our environment creates the next generation's conservation practices and behavior, which is essential to the sustainability of our planet and the creation of its stewards.
GYF serves children, youth and young adults through its Public School Initiative and Youth Conservation Corps throughout the country.
GYF Public School initiative
GYF coordinates and implements practical programs to reduce the environmental footprint of public schools utilizing its twelve week hands-on environmental education curriculum C.L.E.A.N.® (Children Living Energetically Advancing Nature), Eco-Force® environmental club, and School Wide Recycling Programs. GYF works closely with urban public school communities mobilizing parents, teachers and administrators to promote school and community cultures that value the environment and act to protect it as well as engage, organize and empower children, youth and young adults as environmental stewards. The impact and savings from GYF programs have been broad-based and significant across the GYF school network. In the academic year 2008-2009, GYF successfully graduated approximately 300 "Young Environmentalists", and Eco-Force® students diverted approximately 11.2 tons of paper from landfills through school recycling programs. In 2009-2010, GYF-graduated "Young Environmentalists" increased to approximately 1500, our programs impacted close to 15,000 students in 20 public schools, and recycled products from schools increased to over 42 tons of paper.
Youth Conservation Corps
Through its Southeastern Youth Conservation Corp Network, GYF seeks to close the opportunity divide by facilitating an innovative youth conservation corps program that engages underserved and at-risk urban youth and young adults throughout the country. Through the YCC, GYF provides youth and young adults with skills, transformative experiences, and support that prepares them as the next generation of global environmental leaders.
With a high support, high expectations model that combines marketable jobs skills, stipends, apprenticeships, a behavior management system and several levels of support, GYF places children , youth and young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Members are fully trained on GYF YCC mission, resource stewardship, fundamental values (safety, ethics, protocols, code of conduct), YCC operations, communication skills and problem-solving skills, specialized conservation field training, education from experienced professionals from several land management and educational professions, and certifications specific to their tasks, in areas such as CPR and First Aid, Basic Tool Operation and Safety, Invasive Plant identification and Eradication, OSHA 10-hour Construction, Lock Out/Tag Out, Basic Electrical Safety, and Principles of Energy conservation and Audits through a series of workshops.