Youth Green Corps gives new hope to at-risk youth

Three years ago Seattle Parks and Recreation Trails Coordinator Chukundi Salisbury created the Youth Greens Corps in partnership with Goodwill. Youth Green Corps is a nine-month program that begins every fall. Participants receive training in a classroom setting and learn environmental stewardship by restoring trails and parks. The program aims to address youth unemployment and create pathways to green jobs.

Seattle Parks and Recreation has been running summer high school programs that focus on training and forest restoration for many years. The Youth Green Corps is a continuation of those efforts for people who are over 18.

Youth Green Corps consists of 11 Corps members. Members split time between Goodwill, forest restoration and trail work in Seattle Parks for educational and career training. Participants are ages 18-24 and receive a $1,000-per-month stipend.

In the final session of the program, college-bound participants can participate in Goodwill’s Community College 101 class in which Goodwill offers to pay for participants’ first two quarters of community college.

Many of the Youth Green Corps members are homeless youth and people of color who were previously disengaged from the community. Seattle Parks’ vision has allowed these individuals to get a fresh start and create a life for themselves and their families. The program exposes people to green career paths through community service and college preparation. It removes some of the obstacles at-risk youth typically face when trying to re-enter school or the workforce.

Watch how Youth Green Corps has positively affected youth in our area in the video below.