The National Park Service’s latest Preservation Technology Podcast features SCA interns Kim Samaniego and Lauralee Buchanan, who discuss their SCA experiences at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in New Orleans.
(Host) Jason Church: Kim, we’re here at Chalmette National Cemetery. We worked together on the HOPE project down here. I’ve noticed that your uniform is different than everyone else’s and yours is labeled SCA. Tell me a little bit, what is SCA?
Kim Samaniego: SCA stands for Student Conservation Association. It’s basically a partnership that helps preservation through the National Park Service and Wildlife and Fishery and those types of agencies and provides youth employment mainly.
Jason Church: How did you get involved with the SCA?
Kim Samaniego: I got involved, there was an opening position at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve for the Centennial Year. The National Park Service, they have these great positions through SCA. They are centennial volunteer ambassadors. Through that, it just kind of broadens up the outreach for different park sites that have CVAs. It’s pretty fantastic.
Jason Church: You’re paid through SCA. Are there other benefits besides salary?
Kim Samaniego: Yes, there are benefits. As far as payment, you get paid through SCA and also through your partnering agency that you work for. Also you can sign up for medical insurance through SCA and also sign up as an Americorpspartner as well through SCA. SCA works with Americorps as well heavily. At the end of my internship as a CBA, I’ll be getting around $5,000 school bonus for Americorps.
Jason Church: What is considered a school bonus?
Kim Samaniego: The bonus at the end through Americorps, I can only use it for educational purposes, not leisurely money, just everything educational.
Jason Church: Lauralee you’re also here at Chalmette as an SCA intern. Tell us a little about how you got involved in the SCA and what your job entails here at the Jean Lafitte.
Lauralee Buchanan: I found out about SCA after applying for other internships at the Park Service, specifically at Jean Lafitte in New Orleans. Some of the positions I applied for were already filled up and the SCA called me and asked me if I was interested in the centennial volunteer ambassador position. I had to ask what that was. Since there’s a brand new position being created, they kind of gave me an idea of what it would look like and that it’s supporting the centennial and engaging the next generation and working with volunteers primarily.
Jason Church: What is it that you do now as an SCA intern?
Lauralee Buchanan: I have the same position as Kim. We both work directly under the volunteer coordinator. We assist her with organizing volunteers for events at the park to help mainly with maintenance projects, but also to work in our visitor centers, youth programs, you name it. We try and get all the divisions of our park to engage with volunteers and to use them to boost the programming and to make the park more efficient in what we do.