Through Yosemite Leadership Program (YLP) summer internships, culturally diverse college students spend 12 weeks living, working and learning in Yosemite. This program, one of the premier internships in the National Park Service, inspires young people to develop deep connections with Yosemite, as they gain hands-on career and stewardship experience.

Working with wildlife managers, Search and Rescue teams, education rangers and others, YLP interns receive on-the-job training, explore environmental leadership and complete projects that benefit the park. During their summer, the interns mentor other youth in Yosemite, including participants in donor-funded programs, such as Parks in Focus and Adventure Risk Challenge. This internship serves as a pathway to public lands careers for students who might not otherwise have the chance to visit or work in a national park.

In 2018, 15 students from the University of California, Merced, dived into immersive internship experiences in the park. In addition to working side-by-side with experts in education, ecology, emergence response and other fields, the interns completed weekly coursework, helped remove invasive bull thistle from Mariposa Grove, created printed and digital materials for the park, developed content for a Junior Ranger book, conducted solo wilderness patrols, and much more.

Your support helped college students gain career exposure and experience, as they contributed to Yosemite through professional projects.

Completed in partnership with Yosemite National Park and University of California, Merced.

Sabrina Diaz

Acting Division Chief of Interpretation and Education, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

The Yosemite Leadership Program Summer Internship is poised to become a national flagship for youth programming and Department of the Interior pathways into public lands careers.