Youth for Environmental Action

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“I am passionate about social justice and I want to make sure that future generations have the same opportunities to be enriched in the outdoors as I have had.”

–Youth for Environmental Action Leader

The purpose of Youth for Environmental Action is to connect students who are interested in the environment and take action together for the future. YEA students work on projects that increase school sustainability, advocate with school leaders for change, and plan and lead Santa Cruz County’s annual Environmental Action Summit bringing together community leaders, educators, and students to find solutions to the environmental issues our community faces. Aside from group projects, the students have the opportunity to create their own projects with the assistance of their advisors.

Student applications are open for the 2022-2023 YEA team!

There are 3 ways to join, so choose what is best for you and SUBMIT THIS FORM! 1) Leadership Team (High School only)
  • Join the core leadership team to work with YEA leaders from different high schools across the county to identify YEA projects and lead the annual Youth for Environmental Action Summit.
  • Meets weekly on Thursdays 4-5pm (on zoom) AND once a month in person on Saturday
2) Support Team (High School only)
  • Join your school’s support team to work with other students who want to plan environmental action at your school site
  • Meets twice a month Thurs 4-5pm (on zoom)
3) YEA Member (High School and Middle School)
  • Receive invitations to YEA events and help raise awareness of YEA in your community
  • No meetings required

2022 YEA Summit

Registration is closed for the 2022 Youth for Environmental Action Summit!

Theme: Connecting Our Community for Environmental Justice and Action.

Date: EARTH DAY Friday, April 22, 2022

Time: Check-in: 9:00am Event: 9:00am - 2:00pm

Location: Harvey West Park, 326 Evergreen Street, Santa Cruz

More information here. Teachers or school chaperones submit registration for their student team. Community representatives will attend by invitation only to ensure enough space for students.

For more information contact: Amity Sandage at or Celeste Gutierrez at

20/21 Youth Leaders - Meet the team

Y.E.A Advisor

Amity Sandage, pronouns: she/her/hers

Environmental Literacy Coordinator at Santa Cruz County Office of Education

My work, which I love, is to support schools to build students' understanding of and connection to the environment, so they are empowered and prepared to take action for a sustainable future. I try to do this by increasing student access to outdoor learning and nature, connecting local environmental issues to classroom instruction, and creating opportunities for civic and environmental action.
My interest in nature developed when I was a girl, helping my tree-trimmer father load his truck with brush. My interest grew in college while studying anthropology and environmental studies to better understand the interconnectedness of human and natural systems. I love learning about other cultures and am fascinated by how the environment affects culture and how people connect with the natural world.
A quote that I believe in: "Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries." --Jimmy Carter