Leelah Pewu

Earthsaver of the Month

Leelah Pewu moved with his family from West Africa to New York City at age 15. “In my neighborhood our only choices for recreation were basketball and video games,” he says. “But I wanted to go kayaking, I wanted to go camping.” After hearing about SCA at a job fair, Leelah signed up and soon found himself camping, kayaking — and much more. “SCA made me feel that I didn’t have to be limited in what I do.”

Why do you serve the planet?

I serve the planet because I think nature and green space are things that should be preserved for generations upon generations to see. 

Tell us about one of your favorite service experiences.

My favorite service event was Earth Day 2015. SCA hosted a huge service project in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx here in New York City. Over 400 people came to volunteer their time. On that day I saw that it didn’t matter whether you were a teacher, a student, or a CEO of a company… once we got to work, we all just became volunteers working hard to preserve our environment. We accomplished a lot that day and I got to meet so many new people, some of whom have become my friends.

What’s your favorite piece of earthsaving gear?

My favorite earthsaving gear is my work boots. They are the only piece of gear I have used for every service event I have been a part of. Putting on my boots on a work day gets me into “conservation mode” and serves as a reminder of why I got into conservation. Before I found SCA, I didn’t know that there was a job where a person could work outside, be comfortably dressed, have so much fun — and still get paid!

Who inspires you to serve? 

I’m inspired by all the young people who come out to volunteer during SCA ConSERVE events. Knowing they could have stayed home to watch TV or surf the web, but they chose to come out and volunteer their time, makes me want to do even more. 

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