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The Youth Energy Squad has served over 3,600 students and 1,630 school staff and parents since 2011.

The Youth Energy Squad offers year-round programming both in and beyond the classroom that engages students deeply with sustainability and leadership. At the start of our school-year program, your school will be assigned two AmeriCorps Green School Coordinators who will schedule regular weekly Green Team visits. Green Team activities provide students hands-on experiences around sustainability and encourage them to take ownership in their school and community. Schools may choose from three "tiers" of programming based on student needs. During summer, the YES Summer Program provides a all-encompassing employment opportunity for high school students.


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High School Green Team

School Year: Tier 1

Tier 1 is for Green Teams interested in exploring sustainability at their school, but unable to make a full year commitment to the program. Tier 1 schools will participate in one or more Challenges (Recycling, Energy, Water or Gardens & Nutrition), each lasting about 2 months. Sustainability Coordinators (teachers or other educators) are encouraged to align these Challenges with their existing curriculum and pacing 

Energy Lesson

School Year: Tier 2


Tier 2 is for Green Teams that want to participate in a full year of programming around 4 sustainability themes. Tier 2 schools will explore Recycling, Energy, Water and Gardens and Nutrition through place-based and project-focused activities that work to make their schools more sustainable in each of these categories.

Student Weatherization Workshop

School Year: Tier 3


Green Teams participating in Tier 3 will take on a year-long sustainability Capstone Project. Utilizing  place-based curriculum, students will investigate an issue in their community, design a project to address it, and see it through to completion. With a focus on student leadership and community engagement, Tier 3 is ideal for dedicated groups of any age. 

YES Summer Better Block Project

YES Summer Program

The YES Summer Program hosts 50 Detroit high school students for an 8-week employment experience centered on youth leadership, social justice, and sustainability. Students selected for the program become AmeriCorps service members, receive a stipend, an additional $1,200 scholarship and invaluable mentorship from our AmeriCorps Summer Crew Leaders.


Learn more about the Summer Program here

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