A few months, I wrote a post about Josh Carrera, alumni of The Nature Conservancy's LEAF internship program and young eco-activist extraordinaire. It was easy to hear from my conversation with Josh how excited he was about protecting the natural environment, and I actually got goose bumps — I was so inspired. It did not go unnoticed that he credits The Nature Conservancy LEAF program with instilling all that inspiration in him.
So, of course, when I read recently about an opportunity to expand this awesome program, I was happy to help.
LEAF — Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future — provides paid summer internships for a diverse group of urban high school students. These are kids who might otherwise never step foot on a trail, let alone camp under the stars.
LEAF gives these kids the chance to protect and restore wildlife while learning valuable life skills and get back in touch with nature. Kids working for LEAF leave the city to live, work, and play in the natural world. They complete four-week paid internships over their summer vacation, doing anything from restoring wildlife habitat, to planting native trees, to saving endangered species.
The program allows students to earn money while they learn about careers in conservation, visit colleges and enjoy outdoor weekend activities like camping, kayaking and swimming, often for the first time.
So it's no wonder that The Nature Conservancy's LEAF program is in the company of other eco-all-stars like The Jane Goodall Institute, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Bat Conservation International, and Fauna and Flora International as potential recipients of the $1 million pot of cash that Disney's Friends for Change: Project Green is slated to dole out.
Each of these amazing organizations will receive a portion of the $1 million; the exact amount they get will be determined by the number of votes they receive. So go help the folks at Disney decide. Vote for LEAF or for any of these worthy organizations at the Disney Project Green site.