|Maine East Scholar Alyanna Villapando accepts her certificate for environmental stewardship.|
On Saturday, April 20th, three Schuler Scholars graduated from the Center for Conservation Leadership’s Certificate Program. Alyanna Villapando of Maine East High School, Karla P. Figueroa of Round Lake High School, and Kala Juett of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep were among 15 graduates who presented their self-designed environmental stewardship projects at the ceremony.
The Center for Conservation Leadership, a Lake Forest Open Lands Association initiative launched in 2009, “provides more sustained programming [in environmental education] to students who have shown an interest in nature and the environment but are not yet ready for, or do not have access to, internships at some of the major conservation organizations” (CCL). The Certificate Program is a year-long environmental education program aimed to provide students with an understanding of important conservation issues, strong leadership skills, and experience in research and recreation in the natural world.
Figueroa, a sophomore, worked with a mentor to develop a project called “Kids in Conservation”, which focused on teaching children about their role in caring for the environment. She developed lessons including hands-on activities and crafts to engage students in conservation education.
Villapando, also a sophomore, designed a campaign to raise consumer awareness of batteries’ harmful effects on the environment. Through her efforts at Maine East High School, she increased her community’s knowledge of this issue and collected 58 pounds of batteries to recycle.
The Schuler Scholar Program is pleased to recognize these Scholars for their impressive projects, commitment to environmental stewardship, and outstanding community engagement. Read their individual reflections below to learn more about their projects. For more information on the Center for Conservation Leadership, visit the CCL blog.