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What is the Yosemite Leadership Program?

Student standing at top of mountain watching sunset

Housed at the Margo F. Souza Student Leadership Center, YLP is a two-year experience that integrates training in leadership skills, education on the theories and practices of leadership, and personal and professional development opportunities to create generations of socially engaged and environmentally aware global stewards.

The Yosemite Leadership Program (YLP) is one arm of a larger collaborative effort between UC Merced and the National Park Service to proactively address the challenges of the 21st century.  UC Merced students in YLP are helping address the leadership needs of parks, public lands and the environment, now and into the future.

National Parks Institute Mission

The mission of the National Parks Institute is to promote the fullest realization of the National Park Service mandate to protect park lands and values unimpaired for public enjoyment — now and for future generations — through the sustained effort of a dedicated academic-agency partnership devoted to the highest quality research; scholarly thought; technological innovation; academic workforce preparation; and international cooperation – and in doing so, enhance global well-being.

YLP represents true partnership and has involved contributions from many dedicated collaborators:

Major support has been provided by:

  • The Yosemite Conservancy
  • The Toyota USA Foundation
  • NPS: Youth Partnership Program

Additional support has been provided by:

  • California State Parks Foundation
  • Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas
  • NPS: Associateship for Visitor and Resource Protection
  • NPS: Associateship for Workforce Management
  • The Doherty Family Fund