These Students Are The Future of The National Park Service

And they're in Grand Teton for SCA's 2016 NPS Academy...

Members of a new generation of American conservationists, as diverse as the nation from which they hail, began a year-long exploration of National Park Service careers this month with the launch of SCA’s 2016 NPS Academy. In its sixth year, the program brings together college students from all regions and all backgrounds for weeklong orientation sessions in Grand Teton and Kenai Fjords National Parks—in Wyoming and Alaska, respectively—before sending them to parks across the country for summer internships focused on a variety of specializations, from interpretation to biology to digital media. 

Check out this selection of photos and quotes from our Grand Teton class and BE INSPIRED for the future of conservation. 

“I’ve been so enlightened this week - way more than in my entire life - growing up my family didn’t have a chance to get out to National Parks, which is a shame but it makes you appreciate opportunities like this. Now my whole mind is blown - you realize Parks are more than a tourist attraction. Now, I feel the need to share how important National Parks are - they make such an impact on peoples’ lives and the planet. - Shellby Johnson (Pictured above)

SCA-NPS Academy member Mahalia Soap at Grand Teton National Park. “These are public lands and they belong to the American population and if only one group of the American people are using them then I wouldn’t consider them truly public lands. I think it’s important that they are diverse because then it makes people of different backgrounds feel comfortable being in these environments rather than catering to one specific user group.” Mahalia Soap

“People may not visit National Parks if they don’t see a workforce that is reflective of the country. Some visitors may not have an enjoyable experience or come back to a Park if they don’t see an employee of there race or decent. It’s very important to represent each type of American throughout the country. 

“I’m looking forward to the amazing scenery and wildlife that I’ll be able to experience in Glacier National Park. I’m excited about the variety of work I’ll be able to do within the back country office and interacting with visitors. I’ve never been to Glacier and I’m excited to see the glaciers before they melt!” - Sam Sommers
 
“I grew up about an hour outside of Glacier National Park but until hearing Dennis (Vazquez, Petroglyph National Monument Superintendent, NPS Academy Facilitator) speak today I never felt so American, so much pride for my country, and so much respect for these places.” Leslie Green
 
I didn’t know until now I could make a career out of my passion” -Nick Thompson