The Sierra Youth Coalition is an organization run by youth and for youth, serving as the youth arm of the Sierra Club of Canada. SYC began as a small group with a vision towards the involvement of Canadian youth in pressing environmental issues. SYC has grown into a nation-wide network, with hundreds of registered members and thousands of dedicated volunteers, operating in 80 colleges and universities and in 50 high schools.
Through grassroots action, SYC aims to address unsustainable practices through a solutions based approach that promotes education for sustainability, bioregionalism, and sustainable communities. SYC acts as a networking and resource centre for youth between the ages of 15-30, concerned about environmental and social justice issues. Our mission is to empower young people to become active community leaders who contribute to making Canada a more sustainable society. To this end, we:
- educate young people about ecological and social sustainability;
- challenge unjust and environmentally destructive systems by using a solutions-based approach;
- advocate for the new generation of people in Canada who want to inherit a world worth inheriting: one where social justice and the environment are at the center of society's priorities.
SYC runs the national Sustainable Campuses project, which concretely reduces the ecological footprints of our learning establishments while training a new generation of environmentally conscious leaders. We hold a national campus sustainability conference annually and many regional conferences where skills and success stories are shared.
We engage high school students through the Community Youth Action Gatherings and the Sustainable High Schools project, through which we are developing a culture of volunteerism and social activism in a younger target audience.
We also organize national and international awareness campaigns on pressing environmental issues raised by our membership (e.g. To The Tar Sands (Alberta) and the Deconstructing Dinner Caravan (Canada, USA, Mexico bicycle campaigns).
Finally, we provide a venue for youth participation at major conferences and summits at the local, national, and international level (Province Houses, Canadian Parliament, World Trade Organization, UN, G8, etc.) through our Education Fund.