Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council for Climate Initiatives Now Accepting

Published on August 14, 2023

Office of the Mayor Ron Nirenberg    City of San Antonio Sustainability Department

The fourth cohort of this council will represent communities and deepen engagement with the San Antonio Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

SAN ANTONIO (August 14, 2023) — The mission of Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s Youth Engagement Council for Climate Initiatives is to activate San Antonio’s next generation of climate champions to engage in community issues around climate change, environmental policy, and environmental justice. High school students interested in gaining experience in these topics, participating in local policy conversations, and contributing their ideas for city improvements are invited to apply. Applications are open now through September 8, 2023.

“As members of the Youth Engagement Council, students will learn about sustainability, civic procedures, environmental justice, and how these topics relate to improving their community’s health and well-being,” said Mayor Nirenberg. “Members will work with frontline community organizations to tackle real-world challenges, inform local policy, and engage San Antonians in local sustainability initiatives.”

This youth council will convene this fall and work throughout the 2023–2024 school year. Accepted applicants will be representative of the diverse and growing population of the San Antonio metropolitan area. Students from historically underrepresented and underserved communities are warmly encouraged to apply. 

“[This experience] helped us learn more about our city and environment and how we can continue aiding with climate solutions. Our experience here has shown us how important it is for young people to participate in city planning and decision-making. We can always bring a new viewpoint to the city,” reflected a 2022-2023 youth council member.

The initiative was started in 2020 to foster and include the voices of youth in the execution of the City of San Antonio’s first Climate Action and Adaption Plan (CAAP), which was adopted on October 17, 2019. Since its inception, the youth council has been led and facilitated by the sustainability education non-profit, EcoRise, with support from the City of San Antonio Mayor’s Office and the Office of Sustainability. Previous cohorts have worked on projects such as piloting a bus stop rooftop garden, installing bug hotels to increase biodiversity, developing strategies for the City to improve public transportation and EV adoption, municipal incentives to encourage home weatherization, and advocating for local policy changes. In 2021, Mayor Nirenberg received the Honorable Mention in the Large City Category of the Leadership on Climate Action United States Conference of Mayor’s award due to the youth council’s positive impact.

"San Antonio youth are powerful allies in bringing equitable and sustainable changes to their communities. We’re looking forward to deepening the work San Antonio is doing around climate resilience by supporting youth council members to contribute their ideas, participate in intergenerational exchange, and learn from and support the work frontline community organizations are already championing,” said Brittany Jayroe, EcoRise Senior Director, Youth Programs. 

To apply for the 2023–2024 Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council for Climate Initiatives, or to help spread the word, use the English application and the Spanish application. Interested students should complete the application form by September 11, 2023. For more information about EcoRise and last year’s youth council, visit EcoRise’s Youth Programming page. Local community organizations can get involved by reaching out to The San Antonio Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council for Climate Initiatives is supported by a grant from the Hollomon Price Foundation.