C.A.R.E. For Climate Eco-Leadership Program [Ages 13 – 17]

Cultivate Action through Responsible Education

An international YMCA collaboration between the Ann Arbor Y and the Albay Y in the Philippines!

Water and air pollution continue to be a pressing threat to the topography and environment of both the Ann Arbor YMCA (USA) and Albay YMCA (Philippines). About 50% of the pollutants in Ann Arbor’s Huron River Watershed come from stormwater runoff like motor oil, pesticides, and other domestic sources causing a decline in the water quality and harm to aquatic life. The same holds true in Albay with some water even contaminated with coliform bacteria.  Both the Ann Arbor and Albay YMCA service areas have high levels of (approx. 31% of community GHG) due to transportation choices that pose serious health hazards. These environmental threats to both communities are the result of unsustainable human behavior.


  • Open to youth ages 13 – 17 who are passionate about combating climate action

CARE for Climate Program Details

Summary: C.A.R.E. for Climate is a youth-led leadership development program for teens, 13 – 17, who are passionate about combating climate change in their local community and abroad. The Ann Arbor Y will work in partnership with the Albay Y in the Philippines to advance climate change initiatives and develop the next generation of Eco-Leaders. Through an application process, 12 teens from the Ann Arbor Y community and 12 teens from the Albay Y community will be selected to serve in the first cohort of Eco-Leaders! Selected candidates will participate in a 7-week Training of Trainers course held virtually with some in-person outdoor projects. Training topics include impact of climate change, leading change (behavioral, transformational, & organizational), field exposure, service-learning projects, and strategic planning. Eco-Leaders will be tasked to develop a plan of action that includes design, implementation, and evaluation of a community-based project to combat water and air pollution in their community. Upon completion, each Eco-Leader will be expected to engage, mentor, and train Eco-Allies (community youth members via the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) program) to achieve a collective impact and mobilizing 720 young people from the Ann Arbor Y and Albay Y communities.

Mission: To develop the next generation of Eco-Leaders that combat water and air pollution by inspiring behavioral changes in community members to achieve collective impact.


  • To enhance awareness of the impact that water and air pollution have on our environment
  • To equip young people with the tools and resources to effectively address local and global problems through innovative solutions that promote changes in human behavior
  • To mobilize young people across the Ann Arbor Y and Albay Y communities and provide a collaborative cross-cultural shared-learning experience
  • To implement sustainable solutions via changes in human behavior to achieve greater impact
  • To inspire others to take action in their community that results in improved water and air quality for healthier communities

Training Schedule:

  • Professional development trainings, in-person field exposure, and service-learning projects (dates & times TBD)

Qualifications & Requirements: 

  • Must be between the ages of 13 and 17
  • A desire to combat climate change by improving water and air quality of Ann Arbor Y service area (Washtenaw & Southern Livingston Counties)

Global Youth Citizens

Global Youth Citizens is a leadership development program for teens in grades 6 –12 to become active change agents in their communities by strengthening cultural competences, deepening commitment to social responsibility, and learning about critical global issues to be addressed on a local scale. Through monthly workshops, co-facilitated by trained Ann Arbor Y staff and teen volunteers, participants will address the four critical issues that youth face across the globe; environmental degradation, access to health care, lack of civic engagement, and unemployment. Participants will work collaboratively to identify and implement strategies to create equitable opportunities and become champions of multicultural understanding. Participants will be expected to participate in global philanthropic efforts (GivingTuesday campaign that raises awareness and funds to support global partners including the Y d’Haiti, Sioux Family Y, and the YMCA of the Philippines). Additionally, participants will receive a national YMCA Global Leader Certification that enables teens to build skills and cultural competences needed to help organizations like the Y address and effectively respond to rapidly changing community demographics. This certification prepares teens to become active citizens by applying diversity, inclusion and global frameworks to strengthen operational goals and ensure access, inclusion, and engagement for all segments of society.This certification requires completion of 4 online learning segments, two in-person trainings, Dimensions of Diversity and Cultural Lenses, design and implementation of an independent or collaborative project that advances Diversity, Inclusion, and Global efforts, and opportunity to participate in a cultural immersion experience.

  • Raise visibility of the Y as a global, cause-driven organization
  • Recognize and value all dimensions of diversity
  • Expand cultural competencies
  • Engage newcomer and underserved communities
  • Help strengthen partnerships both locally and abroad
  • Assist in philanthropic efforts to support global partners
  • Champion multicultural understanding and development of global strategies
  • Create new alliances with community partners
  • Implement project/initiative that advances diversity, inclusion and global efforts
  • Connect and strengthen relationships with community partners
  • Become community-oriented cause-driven leaders
  • Create socially just neighborhoods in our communities