Recipient of The North Face “Never Stop” Campaign Grant
As part of their brand new NEVER STOP campaign, The North Face is recognizing SCA member Jeremy Tatiano for his relentless pursuit of a world where conservation is a priority for all. We are excited to announce that because of Jeremy’s commitment to this vision, the SCA has received a $25,000 grant! Learn more about The North Face’s NEVER STOP campaign here: https://www.thenorthface.com/featured/neverstop.html
Jeremy Taitano isn’t your typical 21-year-old. A Temple University student and parkour enthusiast, Taitano grew up the island of Saipan. This U.S. territory is revered for its breathtaking coral reef and marine life. The beauty of his homeland was not lost on Taitano where, as a young child, he saw first-hand the impact of climate change on his beloved island home. This fostered a commitment to conservation and inspired him to join the Student Conservation Association (SCA).
His desire to inspire others to care for the planet and treat fellow human beings with respect is what drives him to continue his work with the SCA. The SCA is receiving a donation because it exemplifies the spirit of exploration by inspiring the next generation of conservation stewards. Taitano is a model SCA leader who inspires young men and women to follow in his footsteps, and make conservation a priority.
Jeremy Taitano, 21 | Temple University, Political Science
2011 Washington DC Conservation Crew
2011 C&O Canal National Historical Park Crew
2012 DC Commuting Crew, Fort Washington: invasive removal and trailbuilding
2013 Santa Monica Mtns NRA Alternative Spring Break: reforestation project
2014 Yellowstone National Park Intern: habitat restoration and trout removal
2015 NPS Academy Peer Mentor, Grand Teton National Park
2015 SCA Events and Community Crew leader: leading young people and the public in hands-on service projects
I first developed a passion for conservation while living on Saipan, a 12×5 mile island in the south pacific where my father’s family comes. Spearfishing on the island’s reefs and spending time on the beaches gave me an appreciation for climate change and sea level rise.
Since moving back to the mainland, my original curiosity towards nature turned into a passion for empowering youth by connecting them with and working in the great outdoors.
There is no better way to experience the natural world than through visiting public lands set aside for the “benefit and enjoyment of the people”. The words etched into the Roosevelt Arch mean so much; “the people”- not some people – but “the people”. For those who come to seek asylum, for those who have lost hope and have lost sight of value in their lives, for those who have had doors shut in their faces and have been told they did not belong, this land is here for them just as much as it is here for anyone else. That ideal, no matter how far we may be from it, is something worth working towards.
I have spent 5 years working with the SCA, years that have given me leadership, trail-building, and outdoor experience. I have worked on a back country research crew in Maine, and have taught park and fitness classes to kids 16 and younger. I have done invasive plant removal and identification, and have volunteered on a lake trout project in Yellowstone. I am certified to teach Leave No Trace ethics, and certified in Wilderness First Aid.
I want to take what I have learned from people who inspire me, and use those lessons to continue to inspire others, and to become a better person to my planet and to my fellow human beings. I believe in public lands’ ability to transform lives and to unite people. Serving with SCA has allowed me to fulfill my passion of helping all people realize that they have a place in our public lands.
Why do you serve?
I serve because environmental sustainability is extremely important in today’s world. Our natural world is in a state of distress with rising sea levels and temperatures across the globe. I want to do anything I can to help so that future generations can go on enjoying the beauty and pleasure that only Earth can give.
The natural world must not only be a source of fun for future generations, but a source of inspiration and self worth as well. I believe in youth development through contact with the natural world. There is no better way to experience the natural world than through visiting public lands set aside for the “benefit and enjoyment of the people”. The words etched into the Roosevelt Arch mean so much. For something to be preserved because of its intrinsic value, to be set aside for the public’s enjoyment is a beautiful thing. “The people”, not some people, but “the people”. For those who come to seek asylum, for those who have lost hope and have lost sight of value in their lives, for those who have had doors shut in their faces and been told they did not belong, this land is here for them just as much as it is here for anyone else. That ideal, no matter how far we may be from it, is, to me, something worth working towards. I believe in public lands’ ability to transform lives and to unite people. Serving with all types of people and helping all people to realize that they have a place in our public lands is a passion that I believe the SCA recognizes and does well to facilitate.
I believe in working hard, and that if there is a job to be done, you do it, and in the words of Liz Putnam: “I’d be dinged” if I don’t get the job done. I believe in riding out storms, and I believe in respect. I am unafraid to admit having a lack of experience in areas where I am lacking, I am always willing to learn and to be corrected, and I’m 21 so there’s lots of room for that.
I have spent five years working with the SCA, five years that have given me a tremendous variety of experience. I have worked on a back country research crew in Maine, taught parkour and fitness classes, identified and removed invasive plants, and volunteered with Yellowstone’s big lake trout inventory project. I am certified in Wilderness First Aid and as a Leave No Trace ethics instructor, and I hope to be able to add much more to this list in the future.
What do you hope to gain from your service?
I hope to learn. I hope to learn something about how I can be a better person to my planet and to my fellow human being. I hope to meet with and to speak to people who have the ability to change my mind and to make me think in a way that I never have thought before. I hope to be taught by people younger and older than I am to appreciate aspects of life that I have never before appreciated.
I see my self as an amalgamation of many different peoples’ lessons and beliefs. I think that the more people with whom I come into contact, the more I become a better person, and the more empathetic I can become in my every day life. The value of knowledge gained through human interaction extends far beyond the work place. I want to take what I have learned from people who inspire me, and use those lessons to continue to inspire people in the future.