Youth Climate Institute Announces Nationwide Expansion

Program triples in size to include 12 chapters across the country, including Maryland, Alabama and Metropolitan Washington, DC

Today the Youth Climate Institute, founded by the Howard County Conservancy, announced their innovative certification program has expanded to include chapters in two states and metropolitan DC. This pioneering program for 10th and 11th graders provides foundational climate education and engages students in meaningful community action projects. Upon completion of the program, students become YCI Certified Ambassadors©. Students can opt to continue with a capstone project to earn YCI Certified Ambassador with Honors©. Beginning this fall, YCI will expand to educate and certify students in communities ranging from Selma, Alabama to metropolitan Washington DC and rural areas of Allegany County, Maryland. These new chapters are part of a three-fold growth this year alone, from 4 to 12 chapters.

"Climate change is the biggest threat affecting all of our futures, and YCI students are the advocates and stewards our planet so desperately needs," said Meg Boyd, Executive Director. She continued, "Our chapter model provides students, teachers and community leaders with all the tools they need to be a force for change in their own communities."

At a pivotal time for their college and career goals, YCI supports students and provides important recognition of their achievements, including certification, digital badges and compostable graduation cords to wear with their cap and gown. "Many people are familiar with recognitions that come with honor societies, scouting and varsity sports, but environmental achievements are largely unrecognized. The Youth Climate Institute is changing this," said Jessica Kohout, YCI Manager.

To become a certified ambassador, students learn the fundamentals of climate science, impacts, solutions and science communication. Other lessons may include climate justice, biodiversity and positive solutions. Students also join action teams led by professionals in climate science fields focusing on topics such as legislation, food waste, energy, tree planning and communication. For more information on the Youth Climate Institute or to start your own chapter, visit Youth Climate Institute | (


The Howard County Conservancy reaches more than 40,000 people each year through our environmental education programs. The Conservancy offers activities for children and adults throughout the year at our 232-acre Mt. Pleasant farm in Woodstock and at our Nature Preschool at Howard County's Belmont Manor and Historic Park in Elkridge. 2020 marked the 30th Anniversary of the Conservancy. Please call 410-465-8877 or visit or for more information.

The Youth Climate Institute© educates and certifies the next generation of leaders on climate science, environmental justice and real-world solutions. YCI student voices are amplified for civic action and positive change in their communities leading to aware, engaged and responsible stewards of our shared planet. In this extracurricular program, students enter as Ambassadors and graduate as Certified Ambassadors with Honors©. YCI provides local communities with all the tools they need to implement a successful program. We are looking for regional chapters to join us! For more information, visit

Source: Youth Climate Institute

About Howard County Conservancy

Howard County Conservancy
10520 Old Frederick Rd
Woodstock, MD