Students from Boston Green Academy arrived on Martha’s Vineyard for Nature Conservancy summer internship
Martha’s Vineyard Patch
July 10, 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 on Martha’s Vineyard.
“We’re excited to introduce a new generation to the wonder of nature here in Massachusetts, and open their eyes to the idea of working in conservation someday,” said Wayne Klockner, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.
Students from Boston Green Academy, many of whom have never spent extended time out of the city, let alone one-on-one with worms and toads, will participate in a paid internship program from July 9 through August 3.
During the course of their internships on Martha’s Vineyard and in the Berkshires, they will train for green jobs, visit college campuses and enhance their classroom education by participating in conservation activities like removing invasive species, maintaining trails, raising native plants and caring for shorebird nesting areas.
This is the first summer that Boston students are participating in LEAF. Three young men and three young women from Boston Green Academy will depart for four weeks in nature on Monday, July 9th. Students headed to the Vineyard will be working on the Hoft Farm in West Tisbury and spending time doing some shorebird monitoring, working in a native plant nursery, clearing invasive species and working on trails. The students here for a month without their families, friends and cell phones include:
- Alexandrine Vilson is interested in a career in medicine, and is intrigued by the connections between nature the development of new treatments for cancer and other diseases. She looks forward to learning how to ride a bike and going camping.
- Daniel Felix sees her future in engineering, and is interested in developing new solutions to air pollution and other urban challenges. She looks forward to the quiet that she’ll experience away from the city, and having her first real job.
- Erikka Blackstone wants to be a businesswoman, and she sees the connection between Boston’s environment and its economic success. Excited to be away from home for the first time, she’s looking forward to developing a new view on the world.
“People have always stated that there’s more to life than what I see around me, but there will never be a better story that being able to tell it on my own,” said Blackstone.
“Boston Green Academy’s partnership with the Nature Conservancy’s LEAF Program is core to our mission. This powerful experience will transform our students and serve as a catalyst for their environmental activism,” said Ariel Martinez, development director at Boston Green Academy.
Nationally, 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 will also add new schools in California, Washington, and Illinois this 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 in places like the Vineyard 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 about this unique partnership model at www.nature.org/LEAF.