The Wildlife Leadership Academy has opened its exclusive Youth Conservation Ambassador nomination process to the public and is currently seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors. Nominations are now being accepted online. Letters will be sent to nominated students, with an invitation to apply to the 2017 program.
Nominated students should have demonstrated interest in wildlife and/or fisheries conservation. Accepted nominees will become certified Conservation Ambassadors through attending a 5-day residential summer field schools. There are 6 schools to from which to choose, focusing on white-tailed deer, bass, brook trout, ruffed grouse, turkey, and black bear. Students in each field school will gain extensive knowledge about wildlife/fisheries and conservation, leadership experience, and communication skills.
Applicants may be nominated by an adult who knows them well but is not a relative, such as a teacher, school counselor, employer, or youth group leader.
As Conservation Ambassadors, students receive a letter of a recommendation for college applications, a certification of community service work, and a certificate designating them as Conservation Ambassadors. Students are also eligible to apply for three college credits through Cedar Crest College, return to the Academy tuition-free the following year, compete for college scholarships, and join an Academy Alumni Network of more than 100 wildlife, fisheries, and conservation professionals.
Academy Alumni and Conservation Ambassador Luke Benzinger of Westmoreland County describes his participation in the program as life-changing.
“My whole life changed since attending the Wildlife Leadership Academy where I talked to so many knowledgeable adults who wanted to spend time with other teenagers that were there with me,” he said. “These adults opened my eyes to what I could do to teach everyone else in the world about the passion I have for the outdoors.”
The mission of the Wildlife Leadership Academy is to engage and empower high school-age youth to become Conservation Ambassadors to ensure a sustained wildlife, fisheries, and natural resource legacy for future generations. The Academy, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a cooperative initiative involving state agencies and conservation organizations.
For more information, contact Program Coordinator Katie Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org or (570)939-5109. You can also connect with the Academy online at www.wildlifeleadershipacademy.org or Facebook (facebook.com/wildlifeleadershipacademy).