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Tomorrow Starts With YES

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In 2009, EcoWorks launched the Youth Energy Squad (YES) with twenty students in Detroit Community High School. As of today, YES has a team of 20 staff and AmeriCorps Members working with more than 4,500 students in over 66 schools. Our goal for the program is for students to grow as leaders in sustainability, in their schools and communities. We help them to learn how to lower their families' energy bills, purchase healthy foods, and to have the tools to pursue a higher education and career. We believe the skills students will gain from our program -- which bolster academic performance, leadership, civic engagement, and work ethic-- are best gained through project-based inquiry and meaningful community service. 


YES takes an holistic approach to green leadership and offer an array of programming including Parent Energy and Water Workshops, after school Green Team meetings, youth led projects, community partner colloborations, and more.


Previous Sustainability Projects:

  • Create Rooftop Gardens

  • Create Rain Catchment Systems

  • Monitor Energy and Water Savings

  • Community Outreach 


Our impact in schools and communities:

  • ​Saved 43 schools over $700,000 in electric, gas, and water costs

  • Served more than 3,600 students and 1,630 school staff and parents 

  • Facilitated 585 energy conservation and school greening projects

  • Employed 120 students who earned $130,000 plus $142,000 in scholarships

  • Provided home energy-saving visits to 3,100 households saving an estimated $775,000 annually

  • Had youth present at more than 15 conferences, attend college at an 85% rate, win the Governor’s Awards for Youth Volunteer of the Year, and even meet with President Obama to promote clean energy solutions (YES student Miah Ward was the only high school student in the country to do so, Washington, DC, 2011)

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