In today's economy, hands-on internships can make a real difference for young professionals - and those same young people can make a real difference through national service. That's why Ryeon Corsi, an intern with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), has arrived at Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot National Monuments to help visitors understand the value of the cultural and natural histories present in the Verde Valley.
Corsi, 23 of Hillsborough, NC, is one of more than 4,200 SCA members helping to protect and restore America's public lands this year. The SCA is the only national organization that develops tomorrow's conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with conservation service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests.
More than 50,000 young people have served with the SCA since 1957 and as needs outpace budgets, the efforts of SCA members are more important than ever.
"In economically and environmentally uncertain times, the opportunities and rewards of serving our country abound, should we seek them. The 2008 presidential speeches inspired me to engage in service; thus, after graduating from Carleton College, I launched myself into a 10-month term of environmental service with AmeriCorps Cape Cod. As that drew to a close, I applied to the SCA still feeling compelled to explore the venues that resource stewardship has to offer. From the moment I stepped out of my car after the 2,200-mile cross-country trek, I have had the opportunity to indulge in a whirlwind exploration of the Verde Valley's national monuments.
"During my internship, I hope to weave these prehistoric narratives in a way that captures our visitors' curiosity and wonder as they walk along the trails. With only two months left in the program, I'm looking forward to working on all of the diverse projects that the Park has for the community and its visitors."
SCA members hone a "conservation ethic" through their service, to the benefit of both the land and the individual. SCA experience leads a majority of members to become lifelong stewards and 60 percent of SCA interns go on to lead successful careers in the conservation field.
The SCA is a nationwide conservation force of college and high school-aged members who serve America's parks, forests, refuges, seashores and communities.
For more than 50 years, the SCA's active, hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. The SCA is a non-profit headquartered in Charlestown, NH with regional offices in Washington D.C., Oakland, Pittsburgh and Seattle.