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The Nature Conservancy Sends Urban Youths to the Maine Woods for Summer Jobs

Eight Rhode Island students will participate in the paid internship program for the next month.

BRUNSWICK, Maine | July 07, 2014

The Nature Conservancy 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.

Eight Rhode Island students, many of whom have never spent extended time out of their city (let alone one-on-one with blackflies and mosquitoes) will participate in a paid internship program that brings them into the heart of nature in Maine for the next month.

During the course of their internship, they will train for green jobs and enhance their classroom education by participating in conservation activities like invasive species management, stream surveys and trail maintenance.

For nearly 20 years the LEAF program has engaged urban youth in conservation activities today so 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 educator¬s from partner high schools.

The Nature Conservancy in Maine has hosted LEAF students for several years, hosting students from Chicago, New York and New Haven, CT. This summer, a crew of four high school boys from from Central Falls, RI (near Providence) – Harrison Quirindonge, Angel Medina, Christian Huertas and Carlos Granillo – will work at several locations across Maine. Meanwhile, four girls from Central Falls ¬– Aura Hernandez, Samantha Castrillon, Sharil Deleon and Nicole Medina – will work across state lines, splitting their time between the Maine and New Hampshire chapters, with several projects in Southern Maine.

Since 1995, this comprehensive, environmental leadership program for teenagers and their educators has served students attending environmentally-themed high schools in urban areas including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Georgia, Colorado, Rhode Island, California, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. This summer, students will work on nature sanctuaries in 27 states across the country. The continued expansion of the LEAF program nationwide is due to leading support from the Toyota USA Foundation.

“The main goal of the LEAF program is to expose urban youth to nature and conservation careers at a young age to ensure a passion for the environment 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 engage in actual conservation projects in nature 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

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. 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
The Nature Conservancy in Maine

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