Youth make a difference in Yosemite while experiencing profound personal growth.

Youth in Yosemite

The Youth in Yosemite Programs our donors support transform the lives of young people — and transform the park. For participants, these programs are often a starting point for a lifetime of exploring, appreciating and protecting the natural world in Yosemite and beyond. Youth in Yosemite Programs span the entire range of youth development, from children earning their Junior Ranger badges while learning about the natural world, to young adults restoring backcountry trails and receiving on-the-job-training for future careers.

Watch our Youth in Yosemite video to see the students in action, or read full length poems from Youth in Yosemite participants in the ARC program.

Yosemite's Adventure Risk Challenge (ARC) helps underserved Merced County teens develop love for the outdoors while building academic and leadership skills. Photo: Adventure Risk Challenge.

Help teens develop academic and leadership skills through exploration and adventures in nature

Yosemite’s California Conservation Corps crew restore trails to protect the Merced Watershed. Photo: CCC.

California Conservation Corps crew restore trails and develop skills

California Conservation Corps trail crews are restoring the iconic Pacific Crest Trail along the Tuolumne River.

Restoring trails along the Tuolumne River in Yosemite’s “grand canyon”

UC Merced's Yosemite Leadership Program (YLP) offers environmental education, personal and professional development, and hands-on projects to shape a new generation of public lands stewards. Photo: NPS.

Support the development of Yosemite ambassadors as they inspire the next generation through discovery and connection to the outdoors

Yosemite’s Junior Ranger programs inspire kids to learn about and protect natural resources in national parks and in their own backyards. Photo: NPS.

Inspire kids to explore nature in one of Yosemite’s most popular programs

Yosemite's Parks in Focus program lets underserved San Francisco Bay Area middle-school youth learn about nature through photography. Photo: Udall Foundation.

Help kids discover inspiration and beauty in the natural world