SCA Alumni Join Together and Take Action


A key part of the SCA member experience is learning about conservation ethics, citizenship and being of service. But what happens after the SCA hitch, that summer of service or that awesome internship?

Three SCA alums have answered that question by spearheading a grassroots fundraising effort to give back to SCA members in their local community. Johanna Weaver (‘02, ‘06), Jessica Sanchez (’10, ’12, ‘13) and Leah Duran (‘09, ‘10), all members of SCA’s Alumni Council, joined forces in the Bay Area to host BBQ 4 Boots, a fundraiser to collect funds to purchase work boots and wool socks for the Bay Area local members.  All leather boots are a safety requirement to work outdoors. Unfortunately, many members of SCA’s Bay Area Community Program do not have the ability to purchase quality boots in order to participate. Well, Johanna, Jessica and Leah decided to do something about it. After all, everyone deserves the opportunity to serve the planet, in safe footwear.

Bay Area Alumni came together as a community and took action!  The BBQ raised $665 towards the purchase of work boots and wool socks. In addition, the Oakland Regional Office has received a number of inquiries and donations since the event to support the Community Program.

The fundraising event brought together 50+ alumni from all avenues of SCA Service. Alumni ranged in service from 1986-2013. They shared stories of tent mate friendships formed, challenges of working in 100+ degree heat, giggles about completing SCA timesheets and expense reports. Most importantly, alumni discussed how “SCA changed me,” how “SCA changed the focus of my career,” and how “SCA taught me independence and self-assurance.”

Johanna, Jessica and Leah’s leadership highlights the mission of SCA and demonstrates the impact of SCA’s work: continued leadership, citizenship and a conservation ethic. They continue their work in supporting the newest generation of conservation leaders!

You too can support the Bay Area Alumni Council’s efforts by making a donation at:

If you’re an SCA alum in another part of the country, and you’d like to support local SCA members with a similar fundraising effort, please contact SCA’s Donor Relations Team at [email protected].

Jessica Sanchez (New Hampshire Conservation Corps 2010 and John Muir National Historic Site 2012 and 2013)

Jessica grew up in the suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area, in the city of Fremont. After struggling to find work post-college, Jessica found an opportunity with SCA which proved much more rewarding than she thought possible. As part of the SCA New Hampshire Corps, Jessica found that she had a passion for educating youth and facilitating moments out in nature. This change led her to an SCA internship at the John Muir National Historic Site, where she was immersed in a number of projects involving natural resource protection (including being a part of the Youth Conservation Corps). She is currently a Groundwork Fellow in the City of Richmond, helping to convert two abandoned yards into community green spaces.


Johanna Weaver (Denali National Park and Preserve 2002, Yosemite National Park 2003 and Flathead National Forest 2006), pictured here with her brother Travis (also an SCA alum) at Yosemite.

Johanna grew up close to SCA’s National Conservation Center in nearby Springfield, Vermont, where she developed an environmentally conscious spirit at a young age. She participated in her first SCA high school crew at 15 in Denali National Park, AK, and joined her second crew a year later in Yosemite National Park, CA. During college, she spent three amazing months in the back-country of Flathead National Forest, MT, learning the ins and outs of trail construction as an SCA Intern. In 2009, she had a blast leading an SCA high school crew in Amistad National Recreation Area, TX. Johanna currently works at the Climate and Land Use Alliance in San Francisco, CA, where she assists with international grantmaking that aims to reduce global carbon emissions by preventing deforestation and enhancing indigenous peoples’ rights.


Leah Duran (Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monument 2009, Grand Canyon National Park 2010 and Massachusetts State Parks 2010)

Leah’s introduction to the conservation field began with an SCA internship at Montezuma Castle National Monument in Arizona. “I was hooked, and resolved to travel, work in beautiful places, and learn and grow in ways I never before considered. At SCA Massachusetts, I shared my knowledge with students and carved trails and tree trunks with the chainsaw. In exchange, I learned the meaning of community and how to live close to the land. Afterward, I called the Grand Canyon home as an SCA habitat restoration intern before landing a job at Lassen Volcanic National Park”. While serving with the NPS, I plan to keep merging my love of communication and conservation, with the idea that words can translate first to appreciation, then to action.