70 Young Adults Selected as NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors


Will Engage New Audiences, Promote Stewardship for National Park Service’s 100th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, DC – A group of 70 energetic, young adults are leading an effort to connect people to their national parks and public lands in support of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016. The National Park Service (NPS) Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors will spend the next year working in national parks to expand volunteer efforts and coordinate group service opportunities.

“The National Park Service’s Centennial celebration will focus as much on our future as on our past,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “We are excited that young people, including our Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors, are stepping up as the next generation of conservation leaders. I know this opportunity will enable them to form lasting connections to national parks and the natural world. I also know that their contagious passion will inspire many others to do the same.”

The Volunteer Ambassador Program is a partnership between the National Park Service and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and supports the Department of the Interior’s Play, Learn, Serve, Work Youth Initiative to expand educational, volunteer, and career opportunities for millions of youth and veterans on the nation’s public lands.

The ambassadors, who are recent high school and college graduates, will focus on developing or expanding partnerships in local communities that can support volunteer service projects. They will recruit, coordinate, and manage volunteer work groups throughout the year, with a special emphasis on national service dates such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Earth Day, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day. More information about volunteering in national parks can be found at www.volunteer.gov.

“I have always volunteered. It’s made me a better person and I’ve been able to help others,” says Diandré Watkins of Maryland, a centennial ambassador serving at the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, DC.  “Our national parks form the common ground that unites us as a people and I want to make sure that all Americans see their stories in national parks.”

SCA President and CEO Jaime Berman Matyas notes that in addition to its role in the Centennial, the volunteer ambassador program is an important part of SCA’s leadership development curriculum.  “Transformative experiences like these yield crucial leadership skills and life lessons that empower these young people for lifelong success,” Matyas said. “These service opportunities are also potent career pathways and, together, SCA and NPS are creating a workforce for the second century of national parks.”

To learn more about the efforts of the Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors visit nps100sca.wordpress.com.

Following is a list of the ambassadors by state:

  • Alaska

Alaska Public Lands Information Center – Laurie Lynn Zarnow

  • Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park – Sarah Lechich

Saguaro National Park – Corina Yeh

  • Arkansas

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site – Sally Goldman

  • California

Cabrillo National Monument – Alexandra Warneke

Golden Gate National Recreation Area – Kirsten Lorraine Hart-Hults

Lake Mead National Recreation Area – Christopher Mirque

Pinnacles National Monument – Joseph Negreann

Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park – Allison Joyce

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area – Sara Gabel

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park – Stephany Jean Dery

Yosemite National Park – Claire Finn

  • Connecticut

Weir Farm National Historic Site – Michelle Stewart

  • Delaware

First State National Monument – Lizette Ramirez

  • District of Columbia

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park – Ayomide Sekiteri

National Capital Parks – East – Kyle Yarusso and Malia Forney

National Mall & Memorial Parks – Kersten Laveroni

President’s Park (White House) – Diandre Watkins

Rock Creek Park – Jacob Breslin

  • Florida

Big Cypress National Preserve – Joshua Kezar

Everglades National Park – Brent Emil Llanos

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve & Fort Caroline National Memorial – Ariel Johnson and Cassandra Susemihl

  • Georgia

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area – Mirit Friedman

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site – Camille Vincent

  • Georgia/Tennessee

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park – Kendall Gilbert

  • Indiana

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore/Pullman National Monument – Grant Smith and Hunter Moseley

  • Louisiana

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park/New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and Preserve – Lauralee Buchanan and Brennan Walters

  • Maryland

Maryland Parks (Antietam National Battlefield/Monocacy National Battlefield/Catoctin Mountain Park/Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park) – Hilary Grabowska

  • Massachusetts

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area – Kristina Bergquist

Boston National Historical Park – Kayley Bolstad

Cape Cod National Seashore – Courtney Butler

Lowell National Historical Park – Alyck Horton

  • Michigan

River Raisin National Battlefield Park – Aryel Beck

  • Minnesota

Mississippi National River & Recreation Area – Quinn Darby Feller and Kelly McCann

  • Mississippi/Tennessee

Natchez Trace Parkway – Jay Carter

  • Montana

Glacier National Park – Andrew Lahr

  • Nebraska

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail – Charlotte Murtishaw

  • New Jersey

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park- Brady O’Connor

  • New Mexico

Petroglyph National Monument – Rebecca Ward

  • New York

Fire Island National Seashore – Kimberly Lamiroult

Gateway National Recreation Area – Kahmia Moise

National Parks of New York Harbor – Abigail Pope-Brooks

  • North Carolina

Blue Ridge Parkway – Marielle DeJong

  • Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park – Nicole Shellenbarger

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park – Michael Harris

  • Oklahoma

Chickasaw National Recreation Area – Liesel Anderson

  • Pennsylvania

Independence National Historical Park – Kristyne Allen

Valley Forge National Historical Park/Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site – Cristina Isabel Ramirez

  • Pennsylvania/New York

Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River – Anya Shaunessy

  • Tennessee

Stones River National Battlefield/Shiloh National Military Park/Fort Donelson National Battlefield – Erika Ann Mims

  • Texas

Chamizal National Memorial – Mayra Herrera

Padre Island National Seashore – Jessica Landis

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park – Natalie Campbell

  • Virginia

Colonial National Historical Park – Elizabeth Louise Bauer

Richmond National Battlefield Park – Lindsey Kellogg

Virginia Parks (Manassas National Battlefield Park/Prince William Forest Park/Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts) – Melissa Cohen

  • Washington

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site – Aaron Porter

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Seattle Unit) – Jimi Hightower

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area – Devon Beekler

Mount Rainier National Park – Ian Harvey

  • West Virginia

Appalachian National Scenic Trail – Elizabeth Midock

New River Gorge National River – Rebecca Lee

  • Wisconsin

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway – Danielle Browne

  • Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park – Emma Grace Mitchell


About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 408 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natlparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.

About the Student Conservation Association. The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America’s largest and most effective youth conservation service organization. SCA transforms lives and lands by empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act, and lead, while they protect and restore our natural and cultural resources. Founded in 1957, SCA’s mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders, and 70% of its more than 75,000 alumni are employed or studying in conservation-related fields.  SCA is headquartered in Washington, DC and maintains regional offices across the country. For more, visit www.thesca.org.