"People may not think of our city as being connected to nature, but these students remind us that we are a part of something much bigger", Central Falls Mayor Michael Diossa (farthest right). On the left: LEAF Intern Logan Paulhus, RI Chapter Director Terry Sullivan and LEAF Intern Joel Flores.
After a competitive national selection process, The Nature Conservancy has awarded paid summer internships to four Central Falls High School students who have demonstrated excellent potential in environmental leadership.
The students selected are Logan Paulhus, Joel Flores, Christian Hernandez, and Michael Diossa. The Nature Conservancy's LEAF Program (Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future) will take the students to Brunswick, Maine, where they will perform trail work, habitat restoration, wildlife research, and invasive species control projects alongside professional scientists and practitioners. On weekends and outside of work hours, the interns will visit colleges and participate in outdoor recreation activities like camping, canoeing and hiking. The program is designed to foster leadership skills in environmental careers.
Central Falls Mayor James Diossa praised the students for shining a positive spotlight on the city. "We are so proud of these extraordinary young men, and I have no doubt that they will go on to achieve great things," he said. "People may not think of our city as being connected to nature, but these students remind us that we are a part of something much bigger, and that our young people have a great deal to contribute to science and the future of our environment."
Terry Sullivan, Director of The Nature Conservancy's Rhode Island Chapter put it into perspective: “The LEAF program has a tremendous impact on the students’ lives: opening their eyes to career possibilities, building self-confidence, independence, work skills, conservation literacy and a love of the outdoors. In many cases, LEAF is the students’ first time working for pay and being away from home for an extended time.”
Since 1995, with leading support from the Toyota USA Foundation, the LEAF program has made a difference for our most precious resources: children and nature. The Rhode Island Foundation is providing support for the Central Falls interns’ field session this summer.
The Nature Conservancy’s LEAF program partners with over 20 environmental high schools around the country. LEAF program participants for 2013 come from: New York City, NY, New Haven, CT, Plainfield, NJ, Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Chicago, IL, Seattle, WA, Los Angeles, CA, Denver, CO, Philadelphia, PA and Central Falls, RI. The students reflect the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of these cities.
If you would like to learn more about the The Nature Conservancy's LEAF Program (Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future) in Rhode Island, please contact our RI Chapter Providence office at 401-331-7110 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.