After working outside helped Emmett Pegan deal with the stress of coming out as transgender, he decided to try and make a career of it. Now as an SCA Biology Intern at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, he’s learning what such a career might look like before he heads to college in the fall.
Every year thousands of young people serve the planet through SCA’s crew and internship programs, and even more pitch in through our one-day volunteer service events. In doing so, these young Americans are not only positively impacting public lands, they’re also preparing themselves to be the next generation of conservation leaders by leveraging hands-on experience and mentorship to gain the necessary knowledge and skills.
Leading up to the National Park Service’s Centennial this summer, we’ll be profiling a new batch of these inspiring young “Earthsavers” each month, for, as we celebrate the last 100 years, it is they who will do the work that will keep our parks safe and accessible for the Next 100 years.
As a SCA Museum Intern at Yosemite National Park, Dana Foster (Left) is sharpening her Cultural Resource Management skills and making it easier for people to connect with the historical and cultural resources that illuminate the connections between cultural identities and the land.
As a Cultural Resources Intern at Zion National Park, Kiara “Kiki” Serantes is gaining the experience she’ll need to translate her writing and political skills into a career spent keeping the world’s wilderness safe from environmental negligence for at least the Next 100 years.
“We believe in the old adage ‘service is the rent you pay for living.’”
“Our generation has the responsibility (more than any other generation in our history) to confront and deal with serious environmental issues.”
“I love the outdoors and believe that we all need to do our part to make sure that our parks and environmental resources remain intact for others to enjoy.”
“I try to model a passion for service while working with new volunteers so that I can motivate them.”
“SCA helped me realize that I had a lot of potential, and that I could help change my hometown for the better.”
“We aim to inspire the next generation to view service as part of their lives. Service has given us purpose and we want to keep that going.”
“I believe in the ability of outdoor spaces to inspire, to empower, and to bring us together as a people. All people.”
“Urban parks and farms are some of the most beautiful natural lands to me, because they create hope in neighborhoods that are mostly concrete.”
“Ultimately we are all responsible for our planet — there is no Planet-B!”
“If I can help to make my peers aware of environmental issues and encourage them to get involved, I can expand our generation’s impact far into the future.”