The Nature Conservancy Sends NYC, Chicago Students to Maine for Summer Internships

Interns to discover the wilds of Maine.

BRUNSWICK, ME | July 06, 2012

The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation organization, announced today that students from its Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program are heading out for a great summer adventure in Maine.

Students, many of whom have never spent extended time out of their city let alone one-on-one with moose and mosquitoes, will participate in a paid internship program from July 9 through August 3.

During the course of their internship, they will train for green jobs and enhance their classroom education by participating in conservation activities like building trails, conducting environmental surveys and educating boaters about environmental ethics.

Three crews of teenagers will be working across Maine:

  • Mikia Robinson, Danyell Myles and Tatyanna Redmond, from Chicago, will be working at the Saco Heath preserve, helping Conservancy staff and volunteers reconstruct a popular bog boardwalk and trail.
  • Jose Gil, Jade Barra, Bilal Arshad and Vincent Iricarry, from New York City, will be working in Aroostook County, assisting with a project to survey stream crossings.
  • Stephanie Rodriguez, Niky Falquez, Jennifer Ramirez and Crystal Beniquez, from New York City, will be based on the Saco River in Fryeburg, working with longtime

Nature Conservancy partner, the Saco River Recreational Council, to educate visitors.

This is the 18th year of the LEAF program, whose mission is to engage 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 also added new schools in California, Washington, Illinois and Massachusetts in 2012.

“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,” she said.

Learn more about the students that LEAF serves, the Toyota USA Foundation and about this unique partnership model at

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

Contact information

Misty Edgecomb
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy
(617) 532-8317

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