Youth Climate Leaders was started by Cassia Moraes MPA-DP’15 to build the next generation of climate advocates. The organization’s mission is to empower a diverse group of young leaders from all over the world with leadership and entrepreneurial skills to be used right now to address climate change.

Youth Climate Leaders
Location: Brazil

Cassia Moraes MPA-DP '15 of Youth Climate Leaders


Why We Love Youth Climate Leaders

Youth Climate Leaders trains youth between the ages of 18 and 36 for careers in Climate Change and matches them with jobs in related fields. What is unique about this program is it is not just about educating young people, but about engaging them as they learn through a unique curriculum that includes immersion activities and field placements.

Cassia’s Entrepreneurial Journey 

Even before thinking about being an entrepreneur, Cassia demonstrated her vocation by raising $40,000 in one month through a crowdfunding campaign so that she could attend SIPA. This gave her the confidence that she could do anything as long as she was passionate. While at SIPA, she became interested in entrepreneurship and took classes to further that interest. She worked with an international NGO after SIPA, but it was only when she was actively looking jobs again that she decided to launch her own organization: the Youth Climate Leaders (YCL). She was able to kick-start the organization with a group of colleagues from Brazil and India after they won the 2017 MIT Climate CoLab contest. SIPA not only provided her a great education but a network that she still relies on at YCL.

Running a High Impact Business

Cassia measures impact by the quality of the organization’s training. Her main metric of success is how these individuals, in turn, are engaged in actually tackling climate change post training.

According to Cassia, the hardest part about being an entrepreneur is managing dozens of moving parts required to run a start up well.  What is also challenging is how much responsibility is on you as the leader when others—clients, partners and your team—rely on you. On the flip side, it is incredibly rewarding to be working in a field where you are helping others and being your own boss feels pretty great.  

Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

"My advice is that you choose the right moment to start your organization… do not rush into it. You may want to start working at other enterprises before starting your own so you can establish connections that you will need in the future to do things like raise money.  

Being an entrepreneur is stressful so you I advise working with a team. If you can find a solid group of co-founders and friends to support you, the process is exponentially easier.  

SIPA is one of the best schools in the world which is empowering. You are so privileged to have this experience and, because of it, it is your duty to give back to the world what you learned."

Favorite PLACE on Campus

"The walk around the entire campus is extremely beautiful."

Learn more about Youth Climate Leaders:

Youth Climate Leaders

SIPA Entrepreneurs Changing the World