top of page

My YCL 2018 Immersion Experience

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

*by Michelle Hernandez



When I received my acceptance letter to the Youth Climate Leaders (YCL) program, I was overwhelmed with joy. I could not believe that I was selected among a pool of roughly 500 applicants from across the globe. Without hesitation, I accepted the offer and suddenly found myself leaving my job, moving out of Washington, DC, and packing for my international journey.


Over the course of the following five months I participated in all three components YCL offered in 2018: the immersion program, field placement opportunity, and attending UNFCCC COP24. From France to Kenya, Brazil and Poland, I traveled across three continents, connected with dozens of environmental leaders, and gained a broader international perspective on climate change.


During the 40-day immersion, I met and became close friends with an amazing and passionate group of leaders from across the world. As we traveled together, I learned a tremendous amount from the local leaders we met and, most importantly, I learned that no project is sustainable without a community-centered approach.


After our immersion, I set off to Brazil to take part in my field placement at WayCarbon, a leading environmental consulting start-up. I worked in WayCarbon’s Sao Paulo office and conducted research for two client projects: one on advanced biofuels and another on an industry-specific climate change impact assessment.


Last, but definitely not least, I had the privilege of attending the UNFCCC COP24 in Poland. Alongside my YCL peers, I learned first-hand the structure and process of COP negotiations. I also became involved with the UNFCCC Youth Constituency, YOUNGO, and even co-founded a Cities Working Group.


At my age, I would have never imagined myself visiting so many countries to work with environmentally-driven leaders and organizations. Living in and working with such diverse communities, I gained a unique understanding of climate change’s impact and the shortcomings of our current environmental movement.


Comments


HOW YCL can help your career?

Interested in boosting your career in climate change? YCL is here for you to help you with that!  

WhatsApp Image 2019-06-01 at 21.14.31.jpeg

join the ycl course!

With 98% approval, the YCL Course is a 2-month training course for those looking to have a general notion of the climate career, conducted in portuguese.

AEnB2UpDjeFHmTuM3SCZofJU6FadLg0BUyi6Y7smI9taEG4jipc8zohj4feJKChZl1lAT8PvXDZs-dw1NZ6prI__j4

join the ycl network!

Portuguese speakers: subscribe to our network to gain access to our platform and join our network, an ecosystem of networking,  vacancies, and exclusive benefits.

Desenvolvedores do sexo feminino

be mentored by a ycl climate expert!

Tailor made sessions for young professionals to meet a climate expert, to seek advice, new perspectives, and to develop a career plan.

bottom of page