SCA alumni, donor and environmental educator, Jessica Aronson Cook
“Something different” is what Jessica Aronson Cook was looking for when she first joined the Student Conservation Association (SCA) as a Canyonlands National Park intern. Little did she know she would find her future career and life-long friends.
After finishing a very challenging teaching job for emotionally troubled teenagers and before going to graduate school in education, Jessica wanted to get out of the classroom and work outside. “It was a transition time for me,” Jessica said. That transition helped Jessica find a sense of peace within herself and a deep connection to science and the outdoors.
It’s this deep connection to science and the outdoors that has continued through the years and has helped define her current career. Jessica has managed environmental education programs in a variety of settings and has served on the board of the Environmental Education Association of Washington (now E3 Washington). She currently works as an Education Specialist at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. During her SCA internship, she led field trips and environmental education classes for elementary school students.
“After doing SCA, I realized I wanted to stay in education and to make science and the environment a part of it,” Jessica said.
Jessica recalls a key moment during her internship when they were teaching students how to start a fire without using matches. She remembers being impressed by how focused all the students were, hovering over the wood, determined to start this fire. That was the beginning of her passion for environmental education…a passion that has continued to this day.
“Whenever I meet someone that has been with SCA I feel an intimate bond.” Jessica still keeps in touch with the friends she made on her internship over 10 years ago, and they even had a reunion at Canyonlands National Park.
The experiences she had through SCA continue to be something of which she is extremely proud. These are a few of the reasons why Jessica and her husband, both SCA alumni, donate regularly to SCA and why they continue to be engaged with SCA, attending alumni events and keeping up with SCA news and updates. It is “a community we are very proud of,” said Jessica of her connection with SCA.