Mycelium is the part of a fungus that grows underground in thread-like formations, connecting roots and breaking down material to create healthier ecosystems. In that spirit, Mycelium Youth Network (MYN) builds and strengthens networks of youth climate leaders, visionaries, and allies. MYN provides high-quality STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math) programming, with a focus on ancestrally grounded climate resilience, at little or no cost to low-income youth in the Bay Area, focusing on historically marginalized Bay Area communities whose youth face the highest exposure to environmental health issues. MYN’s hands-on programming, including climate resilience workshops, leadership training, and an innovative “Gaming for Justice” roleplaying adventure, blends local Indigenous traditions and practices with today’s technologies to support youth, providing the skills needed to survive and thrive amid a climate-challenged world.
MYN is the brainchild of Lil Milagro Henriquez, who was working in an elementary school in 2017 when devastating wildfires blanketed the bay in smoke for days on end. Seeing students leave class with nosebleeds from the smoke led her to find programming to prepare children for the future they would inevitably face–but few groups were doing the work. So, she created her own. MYN’s first program, “Gaming for Justice,” engages youth through an environmental justice version of Dungeons and Dragons, a program in which 250 youth participated in 2023. MYN has since expanded their programming to include Climate Resilience Schools, helping youth identify environmental issues and learn how to address them. Youth who complete the program may participate in the Youth Leadership Council, a paid internship to create resilience hubs at their school.
For more information:
Kevin Simmonds, Programs & Grants Manager
Drought, Earthquakes, Flooding, Heat, Wildfires
Environmental Justice Concerns
Air Pollution, Coal/Coke Plants and Emissions, Groundwater Contamination, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Incinerator/Dumping/Landfill, Lead Contamination, Port/Transit/Highway Contamination/Noise, Sewage/Sewage Treatment, Superfund Sites
Art Activism, Community Organizing and Education, Direct Relief and Aid, Green Infrastructure, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Nature-Based Solutions, Policy Reform, Political activism, including protests, petitions, and lobbying, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc
501c3 Tax Deductible