The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization, is proud to announce that students from its Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program are heading out this week for a great summer adventure.
Students from four high schools in New York City will spend extended time out of the city and one-on-one with nature—in some cases for the first time—at Conservancy preserves in Connecticut as part of a paid internship program from Monday—July 9—through August 3.
During the course of their internships, the students will train for green jobs, visit college campuses and enhance their classroom education by participating in conservation activities like removing invasive species, planting trees and maintaining trails.
This is the second summer the Conservancy’s Connecticut Program will host LEAF interns.
“The LEAF program is exciting, gratifying and immensely valuable for The Nature Conservancy, and we’re committed to making sure it’s equally so for the young people who participate in it,” said Frogard Ryan, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “LEAF is a competitive and challenging program set up to empower new conservation leaders, and we’re extremely happy to be hosting students from New York City in Connecticut this summer.”
The four young women who will spend time at Devil’s Den and Katharine Ordway preserves in Weston and Sunny Valley Preserve in New Milford include:
Nationally, this is the 18th year of the LEAF program, which has a mission of engaging urban youth in conservation activities now so that they will become stewards for our planet tomorrow. The program provides paid, residential career internships for students on nature preserves around the country and enriches these experiences in the classroom by providing professional development opportunities to educators from partner high schools.
This comprehensive, environmental leadership program for teenagers and their educators now serves approximately 20,000 students attending multicultural environmental high schools in urban areas including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Georgia. With the assistance of a $3.1 million grant from the Toyota USA Foundation, the program will also add new schools in California, Washington, and Illinois this summer.
Five students from New Haven’s Common Ground High School are also participating in the LEAF program. Common Ground’s Samantha Torres will intern in Vermont, while Clifton Price Lavaughn, Joel Ortiz, Kelvin Payton and Wasurut Vihokrut will travel to Arizona for their internships. Students from Common Ground also participated in LEAF last summer.
“The main goal of the LEAF program is to engage urban youth with environmental learning at a young age in hopes of fostering a passion for our planet that will stick with them both personally and professionally for the rest of their lives,” said Brigitte Griswold, director of Youth Programs for The Nature Conservancy.
“Providing students with the opportunity to participate in actual conservation projects is a great complement to their classroom learning and gives them hands-on experience they may not otherwise get during the school year,” Griswold said.
Learn more about the students that LEAF serves, the Toyota USA Foundation, and this unique partnership model at www.nature.org/LEAF.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut