A month ago I wrote about a great organization, Roots & Shoots, started by the eminent Jane Goodall. Dr. Goodall understands the need to give children an outlet – to turn their concerns for animals, the environment and other people (social issues) into action that can positively affect our world. So where can our ‘older-youngsters’ turn their inspiration into action?
For 50 years, the Student Conservation Association has given high school and college students the opportunity to participate in conservation efforts from A-Z, “archeology to zoology!” Through 3-12 month Internships and Community Programs surrounding major metropolitan areas, SCA gives individuals 18-years of age and older the opportunity to help preserve America’s natural and cultural heritage.
When I was in high school, my guidance counselor (and I use that term loosely) suggested that I move to Sarasota, FL and join the circus. He couldn’t fathom that a gal might be interested in animals, but not want to be a Veterinarian!
SCA should be brought to the attention of every high school Senior who has expressed an interest in conservation, the environment or social issues. Sometimes when you’re floundering a bit and unsure of where to go in life, a season spent in the outdoors, meeting new people and being exposed to new ideas can be quite clarifying!
Full disclosure: I will be part of a panel discussion, Unplug and Reroot: Connecting Youth to Nature, at SCA’s upcoming Earth Vision Summit in Washington D.C. I am doing this as a volunteer and am extremely excited to meet the next generation of conservationists!
[This post was written by Lee Welles.]
I’m not sure if these are related organizations at all, but, a group in the Bay Area doing similar work with youth is the San Francisco Conservation Corps:
I know they do a lot of outreach with at-risk youth, which is great!
Scranton Zoo says
Great post. I really enjoyed it. I will have to bookmark this site for later.