Leadership Program

Learn, Explore, and Lead Collectively

The Green Foothills Leadership Program consists of a training program and its associated alumni program. The Leadership Program convenes, trains and invests in local community leaders while they complete the 8-month training and beyond.

Alumni are supported in their advancement into leadership roles at nonprofits, public agencies, companies, and community-based groups where they advance initiatives for environmental conservation, justice, and inclusive public process. Green Foothills stays connected with and supports alumni through their community change work. Alumni play an important role in shaping Green Foothills’ work: informing our advocacy, engaging in local land use issues, and providing valuable perspectives on equitable, inclusive environmental activism.

Since the Leadership Program was launched in 2013, it has trained more than 200 local changemakers who are making a difference every day in our community. Applications for this annual program open in late summer, and the program starts in January. For information, contact [email protected].

Want to Join?

We are now accepting applications for our 2023 class!

Donate to support the next generation of local leaders

Apply for the 2023 Cohort

Who should apply

Applications for the 2023 program year are now open! Please apply by October 31, 2022. The program begins in January. See below for dates.

Our goal is to form a cohort of 20-25 people who represent the ethnic, geographic, generational, gender, and economic diversity of the region and live in or serve San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Benito Counties’ communities.

Accepted applicants are distinguished by their

  • Commitment to be a more effective agent of change
  • Desire to work across sectors toward a vision for the region to be a resilient, equitable place where wildlife thrives, everyone has natural beauty to enjoy, and communities live in balance with nature
  • Desire to explore and address systemic oppression to increase the power of communities who historically have been disempowered

Become an advocate for your community.

We encourage you to download the application form, fill it out, and save it in as a Word.doc for future reference. Once you have done this, use it to fill out the form below with your answers.


About the 8-Month Program

During the cohort-based program, participants learn how to lead effective environmental advocacy campaigns that are grounded in social justice. As part of the curriculum, participants work in small groups to develop advocacy campaigns that address current, local environmental issues while integrating racial justice as a key component. After graduation, Green Foothills is committed to resourcing and helping to bring to life the capstone project through offerings of strategic advice, partnership-building support, fundraising, and advocacy.

People who graduate from the Leadership Program will be able to:

  • Articulate their personal mission statement
  • Identify the next leadership role they will pursue
  • Hold a rich connection and shared experience with a cohort of changemakers
  • More effectively advocate for the natural environment
  • Develop a strategy based on power mapping to influence key decision makers
  • Recognize how bias and systems of oppression play out in local environmental issues
  • Participate in annual Leadership Program events
  • Find support in a robust alumni network of 200+ passionate individuals

The 2023 cohort will meet once a month on the following Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Some sessions will be held online, where others will take place in person in an outdoor setting. Locations to be announced.

  • Saturday, January 7, 2023
  • Saturday, February 4, 2023
  • Saturday, March 4, 2023
  • Saturday, April 1, 2023
  • Saturday, May 6, 2023
  • Saturday, June 3, 2023
  • Saturday, July 8, 2023
  • Saturday, August 12, 2023

Scholarships Available

We encourage all interested candidates to apply regardless of financial means. Nearly full and partial scholarships are available. The Leadership Program is supported by Applied Materials Foundation Community Fund, the County of Santa Clara, Knight Foundation, San Mateo County Health, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Green Foothills donors. Please consider making a donation to support the Leadership Program.

Green Foothills appreciates every individual, agency, and foundation who makes our work possible and we are proud to recognize every contributor in Our Donor Community.


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