Meeting Mentors Through The SCA Network

In January, the inaugural cohort of SCA Alumni Fellows began their three-month remote internships supporting different SCA departments on a national level. Now in the second month, the seven Alumni Fellows are collaborating and connecting over the research, writing, and video content that makes up their respective projects.

In a recent cohort meeting, Alumni Engagement Fellow Angie Quezada presented on The SCA Network, a website and social network available only to previous and current members of SCA. Screen-sharing, Angie showed how to join regional and interest-based groups, how to find and become a mentor, how to search and share job opportunities, and how to take advantage of the many more opportunities on the platform.

Woman standing outside in front of tree

Angie credits joining SCA in high school as a community crew member with inspiring her career path into the environmental field. Her projects involve research and improving the alumni mentoring program and virtual career fair. Angie found her own mentor Anna Wadhams through The SCA Network. In their first meeting together, they discussed shared interests and possible graduate programs for Angie.

This past week, Ingrid Piña, the Marketing and Communications Fellow, and Sanaa Payge, the City Strategist Fellow, also met with their SCA Network mentors.

Ingrid applied for Marketing and Communications position for the chance to bring her interest in digital arts to the outdoors. Ingrid is filming video stories and trail crew cooking TikToks.

“My SCA experience impacted me beyond measure,” Ingrid said. “I am ecstatic to hear and tell SCA stories, that might inspire more impactful experiences for youth across the U.S.A.”

Woman standing outside smiling

Through The SCA Network, Ingrid got in contact with her mentor, Tyrelle Haney, who is also based out of Texas. With a multi-faceted career in wildlife multimedia, Tyrelle gave advice on time-managing independent projects. Ingrid left the first meeting feeling inspired, ready to embrace filming in the outdoors. For their next meeting, they plan to hike in Houston.

Sanaa applied for the City Strategist position because she wants to be the action behind a reaction, and felt the position’s projects aligned with her Smart and Sustainable Cities major at Virginia Tech. Through research on cities and partnerships across the country, Sanaa is building a foundation for future community needs assessments and SCA expansion.  

“I want to make a change in the world as best as I can,” Sanaa said. “I feel as though SCA does just that.”

Three people digging outside

Sanaa’s mentor Grace Anderson is as passionate as Sanaa about hiking, food, and reading. Arranging their first meeting together through The SCA Network, Grace gave advice on finding identity-affirming spaces in the outdoors and in academic spaces as a person of color. At their next meeting, Sanaa and Grace plan to do a book-share and discussion.

The Alumni Fellows plan to take full advantage of the time remaining for their projects. The SCA Network is one of the many tools at their disposal, and it’s available to all SCA alumni and current members.