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Meet the 2014 New Faces of Conservation

LEAF Memories

See last year's LEAF interns in action.

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As part of The Nature Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) program, five teenagers traded skyscrapers for mountains this summer to work at the Conservancy’s Heart Mountain Ranch Preserve and Tensleep Preserve.

For some, this was their first time to see bright stars, watch the wonders of wildlife and spend time outdoors disconnected from technology. Often, their experiences shape their future.

During their paid internship, the teens from Atlanta trained for green jobs by participating in conservation and stewardship activities. They maintained trails, removed barbed-wire fence to ensure wildlife safety, and identified, clipped and bagged invasive plants.

They also embarked on Wyoming adventures including hiking to the top of Heart Mountain, visiting Yellowstone National Park and even attending a rodeo. 

Alisa Walton

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a good soccer match, then keep your eyes on Alisa Walton. She has a passion for it, so big of a passion that it’s developed her as a person more than anything, and it helps her in more ways than one. This positive impact shows in her 3.7 GPA. But she’s more of a jack of all trades, with Girl Scouts, HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America), cross country and volunteer work under her belt. She also loves to run in her downtime, and pick up a good book to read. But through all of her experiences she never forgets the way she feels about nature. “It excites me to be around nature,” she says

Alicia Griffin

Alicia’s passion for nature started in her youth, watching Bindi the Jungle Girl and slowly but surely falling in love with nature. Nowadays, Alicia spends her time biking, walking, her dog, baking and sketching. She loves to read, everything from books to articles on environmental issues. She also spends her days participating in church activities, planting trees and doing other service projects. To top it off, she plans on being a marine biologist after college. “I am not really scared of any challenge that awaits me,” Alicia says of her LEAF experience.  

Jacelyn Moore

When teachers use words like integrity, enthusiasm, honesty and leader to describe you, you’re probably a really great student. That’s the case with Jacelyn Moore. Jacelyn, like her peers, loves her school and loves to learn new things. When she’s not doing schoolwork and unlocking life’s mysteries, she reads, dogsits, jogs outside, is a member of HOSA and is a leader in the percussion section in the marching band. She also focuses on having a healthier lifestyle, and she’s inspired her family to eat better too. Where will this amazing young woman be in a few years? She plans on attending John Hopkins University and becoming an OBGYN following her college education.

Angel Carter 

Angel Carter was a rock star before she even heard of LEAF. With hiking, fishing, biking, nature photography, youth summits on the environment and volunteer work at Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, among other things, she had the credentials of a true LEAF intern long before she joined the program. And with a 4.14 GPA, Angel is on track to be valedictorian of her class, which wouldn’t be a first for the LEAF program. But Angel has far more to offer than that. She’s a motivator and leader among her peers, but her teachers say she iis humble and always willing to share knowledge. She’s also a master musician, playing clarinet, alto sax in jazz, piano and guitar! Oh, and did we mention she’s also a top notch entrepreneur? She’s currently working on a nonprofit organization to help veterans and their families, and she’s done so well that she went to a State Conference for her organization.

Keyarria Mack

As far as interns go, there aren’t many with as long and distinguished a background as Keyarria Mack. What’s on this long list you ask? Good question. Well, first she has a 3.7 GPA, not bad. She’s part of the flag team at her school too, and she’s a tutor for her peers. She’s also a part of the Beta Club, where she mentors others. She’s participated in Hosea Feed the Hungry, March of Dimes, and breast cancer walks and frequently volunteers at a local nursing home. She’s also the treasurer for TSA and is in the National Honor Society. Oh, and did we mention she has helped build a motherboard for a military lab? Well you get the idea; Keyarria was a superstar long before LEAF. She plans to be an environmental engineer after college.

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