Our Youth Energy Summit–known as YES!–is a team-oriented youth program that uses hands-on, experiential learning and energy action projects to address energy opportunities and issues in rural Minnesota communities.
Students are the energy of the YES! program. YES! teams are student groups representing schools or communities in grades 7 through 12, guided by local, adult coaches.
The program started in 2007 through a partnership with Southwest Initiative Foundation and Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center near Spicer. It’s grown to include new partners, teams and funders, including Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
Since then, the program has engaged more than 1,500 youth who have worked with over 1,390 businesses and organizations to accomplish their projects. These projects have impacted 83,630 community members and more than 39,000 additional students.