Launched in the spring of 2021, The Youth Empowerment Stewards (YES) Initiative seeks to solidify a sustainable model for direct employment and talent development of people with disabilities in land management and conservation programming to ensure people of all abilities are included in the conversation and the solution. Unlike many Corps initiatives, the YES program was built to become obsolete; rather than creating a structured space where only those from the disability community could enter, the YES initiative strives to identify best practices, implement lasting change, and open sustainable, adequate, and accessible service opportunities in any project or program Conservation Legacy supports.
In 2022, ten individual placements and twelve crew members served in California, Texas, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia as YES Initiative members. Nine of the YES members identify as disabled, with the remaining three engaged in supporting the service and accommodations of the others. They completed:
- 6,244 hours of national service,
- maintained nearly eleven miles of trail,
- engaged local and visiting stakeholders both disabled and abled, and improved the processes by which Conservation Legacy engages those who hope to be a part of conservation corps work.
YES, AmeriCorps service positions within Conservation Legacy’s Stewards Individual Placements program local programs and National Park Service sites allow interested participants to take on service tasks from virtual engagement to ADA compliance and Interpretive programming to park ground usability. Still others were able to make impacts on the land, structures, and trails of these public spaces. The standard service duty thread amongst all these opportunities lies in helping Conservation Legacy staff shape, innovate, and strengthen its processes to recruit, retain, engage, and continue to offer conservation corps spaces to all.
- Example of the type of projects:
- Study of natural habitats,
- Park trail and infrastructure design consultation,
- Vegetation identification,
- Water monitoring,
- Policy research,
- General trail maintenance
- Cultural resource management activities, and more
Youth Empowerment Stewards
Our health, our planet, and our collective future rely on diversity—in thought, ability, experience, and ideas. That's why we need YOU. Become a Youth Empowerment Steward (YES) and make the outdoors more accessible!
Are you passionate about disability rights and accessibility in National Parks and public lands? Do you identify as having a disability yourself? Work with us and help increase access to the outdoors for everyone.
Our program Stewards Individual Placements is looking for individuals to work alongside National Park Service and BLM staff in National Parks and BLM land. We're looking for folks who are interested in a future career in natural resources, environmental science, parks and recreation, or conservation. These PAID positions will play a crucial role to improve access for people with disabilities in the National Parks and BLM land access. You can work remotely or relocate to one of the project sites during these seasonal positions—it's up to you!
You will receive a weekly stipend of $600 during your position, as well as a AmeriCorps Education Award that you can use for education—either towards continuing your education by taking classes or paying off school loans. You will will also receive outdoor industry pro-deals!! Any necessary gear and equipment required for your position will be provided to you.
We are seeking individuals, that identify with having a disability for these positions. We are happy to provide reasonable accommodations and will work with you and your host site to help you meet the requirements of the role in a way that's right for you! Scroll down to see our open positions.
|National Service Category||State/Location|
|Youth Empowerment Stewards (YES) - South Atlantic Gulf Region||National Park Service||AmeriCorps||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Youth Empowerment Steward (YES) - Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Intern||National Park Service||AmeriCorps||Volcano, Hawaii|
|Youth Empowerment Steward (YES) - Olympic National Park Interpretative Database Intern||National Park Service||AmeriCorps||Port Angeles, Washington|
|Youth Empowerment Stewards (YES) - Redwood National Park Accessibility and Outreach Intern||National Park Service||AmeriCorps||Crescent City, California|
|Youth Empowerment Stewards (YES) - Jimmy Carter National Historical Park Intern||National Park Service||AmeriCorps||Plains, GA|
|Youth Empowerment Stewards (YES) - General, multiple locations||National Park Service||AmeriCorps||Multiple|
These opportunities are made possible with generous support from the National Park Foundation and through our partnership with the National Park Service.