From left to right, first row: Brianna Amingwa, Marcus Rosten. Second row: Melanie Quiñones Santiago, Olivia Walton.

by Trisha Malizia

Each year the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE) names a list of 30 people under 30 years of age who are change-makers within the field. The recognition “celebrates the unique and passionate leadership of talented young leaders around the world and gives them a professional boost to increase their impact.”

Since I arrived at SCA in 2017, I have had the opportunity to travel to the NAAEE conference and meet many of those who have been honored. Each year, a group of our alumni are recognized with this accolade and 2020 is no exception.
The awardees in the EE 30 Under 30 Class of 2020 include social entrepreneurs, artists, researchers, and educators from 14 countries. They will join the global EE 30 Under 30 community of leaders, and will receive ongoing support to expand their impact through networking, peer mentoring, professional development, and grant opportunities. 
This year the following SCA alums are being honored:
  • Brianna Amingwa – Interned at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge 2011; recently took part in the Lunch & Learn Mentoring session on National Public Lands Day during Alumni Engagement Week; currently works with SCA crews etc. at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum
  • Marcus Rosten – Interned at Tongass National Forest in 2014 and then followed that up with a NPS Academy at Grand Teton and his NPSA service at Grand Canyon and Minute Man National Historical Park in 2015
  • Melanie Quiñones Santiago – Interned at El Yunque National Forest in 2017 and 2018
  • Olivia Walton – Interned at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge in 2017
I have met and/or worked with Brianna, Melanie and Olivia at the NAAEE conference in the past or at events in their current position. They are great people and committed to the conservation values they learned through their SCA experiences. I hope to get to know Marcus and more about his amazing work with the YELP program through the Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.
Congrats to our 2020 NAAEE 30 under 30 alumni honorees!