Leadership Institute


SANTA FE YOUTH: Applications for the 2019 El Puente Summer Leadership Academy are now open!



Questions? Contact us at info@earthcarenm.org or call/text 505-699-1025

Applications for 2018 Las Vegas Leadership Institute are now closed!

Leadership Institute The Youth Allies Leadership Institute is a program for young people who are interested in becoming stronger people, leaders, and/or activists to help make the world a better place. The training program includes an overnight retreat and weekly trainings.

KICK-OFF RETREAT in Peñasco, NM: Get to know the group, participate in hands-on leadership training that will teach about environmental and social issues. Work with professional trainers that will use art, interactive activities, and group challenges to help you bond with other local youth and start honing your leadership skills.

Have more questions? Call 505-983-6896 or email youthallies@earthcarenm.org

Or connect with us on Facebook or email youthallies@earthcarenm.org



The Leadership Institute is a leadership and social activism training program for young people ages 13-19.

Thirty young people from diverse backgrounds will be selected to participate in this intensive training program in community leadership and social change, and put their training into action to help people and the planet. Training will include personal leadership development, outdoor & wilderness experiences, environmental stewardship, cross-cultural relationship building and communication, and community organizing.

Participants will walk away with a certificate for 50 hours of community service, public recognition for their community leadership, and the chance to serve in leadership positions with the City, the program and its partners including the chance to be an Organizer for the program and leadership/community engagement opportunities throughout the year.

After completing the training program, participants have the choice to join the Youth Action Network – participating in service work and actions based on their availability or to apply for the Youth Allies Organizing Program in 2018 – receiving advanced training, and leading projects and campaigns. 

The Leadership Institute is based on the following curriculum:


jaylene-talking-with-groupYouth Allies is designed to help young people explore and discover who they are and what gifts they have to offer the world. Throughout the program youth use storytelling, visual art, spoken word, and reflective writing to explore their identity, history, and personal calling. Youth learn about self-care and personal sustainability as a precursor to being an effective activist. For us this means helping young people face their fears, reach into and heal from personal pain and trauma, and practice self-maintenance and healthy living habits. It also means helping young people tap their natural talents and passions in service of the greater good.


diminishing-circlesYouth participants explore their own cultural identity and bridge and heal cultural divides. In order to do so, participants explore how they have been shaped by their own cultural heritage and reflect on their values, beliefs, and cultural mythology. Our emphasis is on building self awareness of our impact on others and the world and to encourage young people to build positive cultural identities. From there, we provide training in decolonization and anti-oppression so that participants understand the ways in which they are shaped by and participate in systems of oppression, cycles of violence, and exploitation. Participants learn about how these systems in part perpetuated throughout history from colonization to imperialism to globalization.

Through self reflection, shared visioning, the arts, and dialogue, we work with our participants to create cross-cultural understanding, healing, and forgiveness. This process helps youth to build powerful cross-cultural alliances as they develop & implement strategies, campaigns, and projects to address social, environmental, & economic injustice in the community and around the world.


dsc_0322Through the program youth reconnect with the land by cooking with food from youth-led gardens, building with adobe, or sitting silently outside – observing, and listening. Youth learn key ecological concepts such as diversity, interdependence, scarcity, resilience and adaptation all of which apply to both ecological as well as social systems. Youth learn tracking techniques and pattern identification and observe in nature those things that strengthen living systems and promote life and health as well as those things that hinder them. One of the core elements of the curriculum is systems thinking or relational thinking – the ecological insight that all things are connected and are interdependent. Youth learn ways to reduce their own ecological footprints as well as how to address global environmental challenges such as climate change.

Please contact us at youthallies@earthcarenm.org if you are interested in learning more about the curriculum or any other aspect of the Institute.