What an inspiring (and busy) few days it's been! We asked you to take a break from your service over the weekend to tell the world how or why you serve the planet. The response was, predictably, impressive.
Big thanks to all those who participated! By sharing your reasons for service, you helped inspire the world to serve.
With so many great responses, picking a winner was tough. That said, congratulations to Betsy DeFries! If her photo is any indication, we're confident that she'll put her prize (a heavy-duty SCA hiking pack) to good use. Thanks for the stunning view, Betsy!
Additional props to Andrea Willingham and Benjamina Nelson for nabbing our runner-up prizes. Who wouldn't be inspired to #servetheplanet by images like these?
Search for #SCAplanet on Twitter & Instagram for more great photos.
The noisemakers and hats are all put away but on Martin Luther King Day, America will launch a New Year of Service. By serving together, we can extend Dr. King's legacy of doing for others and build a brighter future for all.
To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,, President Obama is asking all Americans to participate in a National Day of Service on Jan. 19th.. We are asking you to join the thousands of other Americans who will pledge to serve as part of this national campaign. Make a sign that says "i serve the planet" that shows us how or why you serve the planet (bonus points if you include the SCA logo). Share it on Twitter or Instagram with hashtags #iServe and #SCAplanet, and we'll post our favorites here and on Facebook. On Tuesday, Jan. 22nd, we'll pick one truly inspiring image and award the photographer with an SCA hiking pack filled with SCA gear. Read the full contest rules.
As you consider what form your service will take, we hope you will join SCA on MLK weekend at parks in Washington, DC, the Bay Area, Pittsburgh, and other locations, or volunteer at one of the many additional service projects scheduled across the nation. If you have an event you want to share with the broader SCA community, please post it directly on jointhesca.org events section.
Forty-five years ago, Dr. King remarked "all labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." In just a few days, we can honor his words, his deeds and his life.
Giving back moves us forward as a people and as a country. So, if you're still looking for a New Year's resolution or if you've already ditched the one you made earlier, resolve right now to serve on Martin Luther King Day. And, then tell us why you serve the planet... Maybe you'll inspire the world to serve along with you!
ALASKA IS HOME TO HALF this nation's wilderness, yet for many Native youth it remains The Last Frontier. "Until SCA, I'd never been out in the wilderness," admits Teshonda Thomas, an Alutiiq and Inupiaq high school senior in Anchorage.
SCA is reconnecting Alaska Native youth with their culture and heritage by forging youth-focused networks of government agencies, Alaska Native corporations, and local organizations.
A powerful job-training partnership with Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI), Cook Inlet Tribal Council, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and others last year contributed to a four-fold increase in the number of Alaska Native teens participating in habitat protection, trail construction, and historic restoration. "I've not only learned how to overcome the physical challenge of hard work, but I've also learned how to become a leader," states Teshonda. "I am proud to say that I have done something positive that will inspire nature lovers and give back to CIRI land."
SCA is also collaborating with Alaska Geographic, an educational nonprofit, to create new opportunities for young women and men in Chugach National Forest, and the trails built by SCA members in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough are strengthening the local environment as well as the borough economy. SCA crew leader Nathan Bolton notes while the impact on the land is significant, it's even greater on the students. "A lot of transformation takes place in just one month," he says. "It's spectacular to see."
Our agency partners agree and are quick to take advantage. "I have at least four people on my staff who started their careers in conservation with SCA," states Ann Rap¬poport, a field supervisor with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Anchorage. "SCA is a way for us to hire more youth and access better diversity. These young people inspire us and remind us why we're here."
"A lot of our folks are retiring," adds FWS Volunteer Coordinator Kristen Gilbert. "A lot of institutional knowledge is going to be lost, and we don't have a lot of young people coming in. SCA is helping us fill this need."
Thank you for partnering with SCA to ensure the future of conservation, for believing that young people can change the world, and for supporting SCA.
SCA will continue to do what we've always done: empowering young people so that they will become the future stewards of our land and the next generation of conservation leaders that our planet so desperately deserves. Our mission is more relevant now than ever before. Although our task is formidable, I believe that by working together we can truly make a difference for the future of conservation.
Please take a moment to watch this short video to see the impact that your support has on thousands of young people and to conservation of our land.