UPDATE February 4, 2015…There’s still room at the YES Conference – Youth for the Environment and Sustainability — set for this Saturday, February 7, at MTC’s Oakland offices, starting at 9:30 a.m. It’s free, and a great way for high school students to build up their “green” credentials for their college applications. The inspiring line-up of speakers includes Nick Laskowski, a teacher who founded the San Jose Bike Party, a monthly ride that attracts 2,500 people, and Serah Almeyda, a student at Windsor High School and a sustainability activist at home and abroad who has worked on environmental projects in Nicaragua and is preparing for a reforestation trip to Equador. See the full program (PDF).
Students will have their choice of an array of workshops where they can hear from Causa Justa :: Just Cause, a grassroots organization dedicated to building equitable communities, and learn about what teens are doing around the Bay to promote nonmotorized Safe Routes to Schools, among other topics. Other highlights include a bike repair demonstration offered by Local Motion, and a visit by the MTC-sponsored BayMobile, an aquarium on wheels that teaches students about the effects of climate change on the Bay.
“It’s going to be fast-paced and fun,” said MTC’s conference organizer, Leslie Lara. “We have 120 students signed up so far, and have room for more.” It’s best to sign up ahead of time, but walk-ins at the door will also be allowed.
Students are encouraged to tweet live at the conference using this hashtag: #YESconf15
December 18, 2014
Students from throughout the nine Bay Area counties will come together to discuss transportation, clean air, climate change and a healthy San Francisco Bay Area at the second Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference, scheduled for February 7, 2015, at MTC’s offices in Oakland. The free day-long regional conference will bring together Bay Area middle- and high-school students who are passionate about alternative transportation and are spearheading efforts in their communities to reduce pollution and congestion.
Conference organizers are encouraging students to sign up for the event as well as to get involved with development of content. Students, teen leaders, teachers and youth advisors can submit proposals for making a presentation, leading or participating in a panel discussion or guiding an interactive session.
The 2015 gathering builds on the first YES Conference, held in November 2013, which brought together some 90 students from around the region for a full day of inspirational presentations, brainstorming and idea-sharing.
At the upcoming February 7 conference, students will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, participate in workshops, and share stories from their schools and communities about how youth can lead the way in promoting safe and healthy communities.
Participants will learn how they can take advantage of alternatives like bicycling, walking, public transit and neighborhood carpooling to promote stronger communities and a cleaner planet.
Free shuttles from the North Bay and the South Bay will be available for students without easy access to public transit. The shuttles will stop at the following locations:
- Shuttle Bus #1 — Solano County
Fairfield Transportation Center
2000 Cadenasso Drive, Fairfield
8:30 a.m. pickup/4 p.m. drop-off
- Shuttle Bus #2 — Sonoma & Marin Counties
- Stop #1 — Trek Bicycle Parking Lot
512 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa
8:00 a.m. pickup/4:30 p.m. drop-off)
- Stop #2 — Whistlestop Parking Lot
930 Tamalpais Ave. in Downtown San Rafael
8:45 a.m. pickup/3:45 p.m. drop -off
- Shuttle Bus #3 – Santa Clara County
Diridon Caltrain Station
65 Cahill Street, San Jose
8:30 a.m. pickup/4 p.m. drop-off
There is no cost to attend the conference and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Parents and teachers are welcome. Students must have their parents’ permission to attend. For complete conference details and to register, visi www.sparetheairyouth.org/2015yesconference. Conference updates and related sustainability opportunities and resources are being posted to the Youth for the Environment and Sustainability Facebook page.
The YES Conference is part of the Spare the Air Youth program and is sponsored by MTC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) as part of MTC's Climate Initiatives Program. MTC is the Bay Area’s regional transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency. BAAQMD is the agency responsible for protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area.
Call for Conference Session Proposals
Is your school a leader in encouraging walking, biking and carpooling? Do you want to share your work with your peers? Need some public speaking practice? Register to be a presenter at the next YES Conference! Share your experience with students from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.