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CoalitionWILD is creating lasting youth leadership for the planet.



Young people are more connected, more ambitious, and more impatient than ever before. Armed with a desire to not only want a better future for the planet, but to be a part of the effort it will take to create that future, youth are searching for opportunities to be actively engaged in designing the solutions they seek and using their voice. But taking that first step into leadership is difficult and often isolating and intimidating work. 


Through working with youth on issues they are passionate about and providing the supportive space for taking risks and attempting new ideas, CoalitionWILD is ensuring that we are not just providing the tools needed to create action, but are imparting in these young leaders the belief that they know how to use those tools best.



To connect and equip young leaders to tackle the planet’s greatest conservation and climate change challenges.


A world where younger generations are respected, valued, and supported to be active agents and leaders in creating a better future for the planet.


CoalitionWILD was born in 2013 at the 10th World Wilderness Congress from the recognition that youth leadership in conservation is an untapped potential for positive change.  The initiative was originally designed as a volunteer movement to connect rising leaders passionate about the planet but we quickly realized that to create meaningful change, young people needed to be equipped with skills and knowledge, and empowered to utilize their voice and believe in their value.


Since then, CoalitionWILD has equipped, connected, and empowered thousands of young people.
CoalitionWILD’s evolution is driven by listening to the needs of the youth we work with, and shaped by the personal experiences of our youth-team, youth-board, and youth-partners – totaling 42 international volunteers.

Our Mentor

CoalitionWILD is proud to be an official project of the WILD Foundation (WILD), a 501(c)3 organization that has worked internationally to connect and protect people, wild life, and wild places for over 40 years. 

Nature Needs Half

Nature Needs Half is an international coalition of scientists, conservationists, nonprofits, and public officials working to protect 50% of the planet by 2050. CoalitionWILD supports the Nature Needs Half vision as a member of the coalition and publicly declares its support for a respectful relationship with nature by building momentum for change. Learn More. 


Crista Valentino

Crista Valentino

Co-Founder, Director

Crista co-founded CoalitionWILD in 2013 after an invitation from the WILD Foundation to address the lack of support and visibility available to younger generations in the environmental sector. She continues to lobby for a stronger integration of youth voices and empowerment in organizational and business decision making, and has achieved this through recently co-publishing an intergenerational leadership toolkit for conservation and leading multiple projects that accelerate and further initiatives around the world being led by young people for nature. Crista is the North American Focal Point for the World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professionals, was named Wyoming’s Top 40 under 40, and is on the Executive Committee for the 11th World Wilderness Congress.

Yen Parico

Yen Parico

Community Organizer Intern

Yen’s passion for science communication and outreach can be traced back to her fieldwork experiences in college. Her skills in project management, research writing, and developing  communication materials were further improved when she entered the International Rice Research Institute as a knowledge management and outreach researcher. She continues exploring her potential as she finishes her Master’s in Sustainable Development. Now, more than ever, she believes that communication is critical in climate science not only in creating awareness but in practicing sound decision-making for climate change policies.


Flavia Martinelli

Flavia Martinelli

Mentorship Programme Intern

Flavia is an active member of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network and the Coordinator of Plant-for-the-Planet Brazil. She was the Director of a Brazilian NGO, Engajamundo, from 2017 – 2019 where she coordinated projects and campaigns, and created partnerships for ​​biodiversity. She holds a Masters in Animal Biology with a specialty in primate conservation and landscape analysis using GIS. Her interests include biodiversity conservation and climate change. 

Steering Committee

Michael Afolami

Michael Afolami


Jon Reed

Jon Reed


Ceci Fischer

Ceci Fischer


Christel Scheske

Christel Scheske


Diana Garlytska

Diana Garlytska


Neeshad V. Shafi

Neeshad V. Shafi


Work With Us

Does our mission excite you? Then check out our list of open positions on our Work With Us page.

If you think you have a way to contribute that isn’t listed, then send us a message to [email protected] sharing a bit about yourself and how you would like to contribute.

Contact Us

We want to hear from you.

We’re always recruiting emerging leaders, supporters, and collaborators who have a desire to be a part of a global connected community of young people creating a better future for all life.  Get in touch by filling out the form below.

CoalitionWILD HQ
717 Poplar Avenue
Boulder, CO 80304 USA


Young leaders are using their voices and passion to enact change for a better planet.

Join us and connect with them.