News, Stories & Projects

Outside magazine has published an excellent in-depth profile of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. The article concludes with a ringing endorsement for the work, promise and acheivements of SCA:

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(WASHINGTON, DC) October 31, 2013Statement by Student Conservation Association (SCA) President and CEO Dale Penny on nomination of Rhea S. Suh as Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks:

“SCA enthusiastically applauds President Obama’s nomination of Rhea Suh to become Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. 

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(WASHINGTON, DC) October 28, 2012 – The Student Conservation Association (SCA), the national leader in youth service and stewardship, has signed a formal agreement with the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to assist in disaster response and preparedness in communities across the country.

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Once again, the pick rises high up toward the overcast sky, hangs there for a few seconds, and slams back down on the granite boulder.


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Like nature itself, SCA is always evolving – to better serve you, our members and our public lands.  We are constantly devising new solutions and improvements to be your youth partner of choice, and ultimately to help you achieve your own vital mission. 

As noted in our top story, SCA is introducing several advancements this year and we stand ready to apply this same level of results-oriented creativity to your unique needs.  Please contact us today to explore our most effective and economical program options.

It is important to note that while an SCA experience may last only a few weeks, its impact lasts a lifetime…in our parks and communities, and in the ongoing actions of 75,000 alumni worldwide.  Together, we are empowering the conservation leaders of the future.  Thank you for your partnership. 


New and Expanded Programs for 2015

A number of SCA program innovations will provide important new support for SCA partners this year. First out of the gate include:

  • The SCA's Veterans Fire Corps are expandingIn collaboration with the US Forest Service, SCA launched the Veterans Fire Corps in 2011 to train recent-era vets for careers in wildfire mitigation and forestry, and to aid their transition back to civilian life.  This year, SCA anticipates placing six teams – each consisting of five members and one leader – including one corps already on the ground at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, our first placement with the Fish and Wildlife Service. 

    Project Leader Wesley Adams reports that each day is challenging but productive.  “We assisted in burning 326 acres with drip torches,” Adams states.  “Lots of walking through hip-high water. Plenty of vines that tangle and strangle, and wildlife to lookout for: alligators, bears, and wild pigs.” 

    The Veterans Fire Corps expanded into the National Park Service last year, with teams at Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other parks.

  • SCA’s National Park Service Academy is going nationwide. The NPS Youth Programs Division is funding the workforce development and diversity initiative for the first time in its five-year history.  Together, we expect to place 100 under-represented college students in career-oriented internships this summer.

    “As we approach our centennial in 2016, recruiting and retaining a more diverse National Park Service workforce is a cornerstone of our Call to Action plan for the next 100 years,” NPS Director Jon Jarvis told SCA.  “With its ability to reach into traditionally under-represented communities, SCA is a playing a critical role in helping us provide young people with a professional pathway.”

    SCA started the NPS Academy with Grand Teton National Park in 2011, and added Great Smoky Mountains NP in 2012, Kenai Fjords in 2013 and the National Parks of New York Harbor in 2014. To date, the Academy has put more than 400 students on a promising career track.

SCA has a number of other new partnerships lined up for 2015 including:

  • The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana will team with SCA to field a restoration corps that will conduct native planting in areas degraded by storms and human influences.   
  • In collaboration with Openlands Chicago, SCA members will serve as tree care providers, planting new trees, caring for existing ones, and inventorying current stands across the city. The program will offer college credits and connect participants with entry-level jobs.
  • Allegheny County Parks and SCA are piloting a ranger training program in which interns will lead interpretive hikes, facilitate volunteer days, create new programming, and monitor/report on natural resource management issues, on their way to potential employment.

More new programs are coming soon!  Meanwhile, there’s no better view of SCA’s 2014 impact than this revealing infographic.

Make Summer Requests Now

SCA’s national candidate pool is approaching its deepest point of the year, with more than 20,000 highly-qualified applicants representing a nearly endless range of knowledge, skills and backgrounds.  File your request for an SCA intern or other summer support now, while the selection is at its strongest.  You may request online, through your SCA rep at 1-888-722-9675 ext. 1635, or by emailing

VIPs Support SCA Volunteers

SCA drew more than 1,000 volunteers including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis and UN Ambassador Samantha Power to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events nationwide. These projects leverage SCA’s community programs by engaging under-served urban youth and starting them on a continuum of conservation leadership experiences. 

New Program Leadership

Laura Herrin has been named SCA Senior Vice President for Programs.  Christopher Jackson has been appointed SCA Eastern Regional VP, Rafael Rosa is Central Region VP and Jay Watson is Western VP.  In addition, Jay Satz has moved to the new position of Senior Director for Agency Initiatives.