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We believe that youth are not the leaders of tomorrow; they are the leaders of today.


Based in California, Youth on Root’s mission is to center low-income youth and youth of color as change agents in their communities by providing tools for learning from each other and opportunities to use their unique power to promote environmental justice.


We envision a self-sustaining grassroots movement led by youth who have meaningful opportunities to enact their visions of environmental justice for their communities. 


Photo by Joe Brusky



YoR was founded by Candice Youngblood to honor and extend the reach of existing California community-based organizations fighting for environmental justice. Our founder's goal was to create what she wished she had in retrospect: an accessible community in which underserved youth can conceptualize, contextualize, and combat environmental racism. In 2020, YoR formally began with fiscal sponsorship from Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a 501(c)(3) organization.

Photo by Bradley Angel

About YoR




Rachael Meyers

Program Director

Rachael Meyers (she/her) serves as our Program Director, steering YoR's radical vision for empowering youth and following their lead in creating lasting impact on environmental justice. Rachael has worked at the intersection of youth leadership and outdoor/environmental education for over ten years. She also brings experience collaborating with individuals and organizations that work to increase equity and joy for Black & Brown communities in the California Bay Area.

Learn more about Rachael >>

Youth Advisory Board
Advisory Council


The Youth Advisory Board furthers YoR’s mission by guiding our programming, fundraising, and community outreach. Youth will gain opportunities to see how organizational decisions are made; take on meaningful leadership roles; and develop 21st century skills, such as initiative, strategic thinking, innovation, and decision-making. The Youth Advisory Board comprises youth leaders recommended by our partner organizations who reflect the rich diversity of California communities.

Ashley Valentin Gonzalez

Environmental Health Coalition

Nessa Sandoval

Communities for a Better Environment

Havah Aisha Isray

Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Casey Mata

Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)

Melanie Robles

Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice


While our fiscal sponsor's board of directors is our legal board, the Advisory Council more closely governs YoR by carrying out most traditional board functions.

Candice Youngblood

Founder & President

Jennifer Fei

External Affairs Advisor

Zoë Temple

Programs Advisor

Monica Inouye


Iman Howard

Programs Advisor

Jeff Clare


Jed Lee

Programs Advisor

Helia Bidad

Programs Advisor

Guilu Murphy

Internal Affairs Advisor

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