During Summer 2017, CTNC hired 19 interns for full-time, 10-week, paid internships through the Diversity in Conservation Internship Program (DCIP) to provide hands-on opportunities for students to gain the skills and experience necessary for a successful career in conservation. The program aims to increase racial and ethnic diversity within conservation organizations and engagement with groups underrepresented in conservation careers. Meet Jennifer Scott, a 2017 intern with the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office.
Jennifer’s summer work was dedicated to continuing the SHPO’s efforts to research and protect the remaining Rosenwald schools, a group of schools funded and designed by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald for African American children in the rural South during the early 1900s. Jennifer’s days were spent researching and writing profiles on the schools present in each county in North Carolina, using both physical archives and digital files. Her research findings are being used to prepare nominations for the National Registry, to preserve these vital sites of the South’s history.
CTNC strives to find interns for our partner sites that are inspired to build a greater connection to the environment. Our program finds young adults dedicated to promoting diversity in the conservation field, and to teaching their local communities how environmentalism interconnects with other mission focuses.
Jennifer shared with us that “while I was concerned about our environment from an early age and have tried to live as responsibly as possible as an adult, I think everything changed when I had children. I want my children to have access to what I have had, including not worrying about clean water, the ability to explore a variety of outdoor lands, and the opportunity to learn about ecological, cultural, and historic aspects of different environments.”
That is why she sees her role as the Rosenwald Intern as so important. Not only is she saving these historic structures, she is preserving history, memories, and important community gathering places throughout the state.
In her free time, Jennifer loves “playing in the dirt! I have always surrounded myself with plants of all sizes and types (some I’ve had for almost 20 years!). I also enjoy taking walks and swimming.”
Through her internship, Jennifer feels she “definitely gained a greater understanding of the conservation field. Attending the Land Trust Assembly provided an excellent opportunity to see the challenges, struggles, and successes in the field.”
To future interns, Jennifer advises, “embrace the many experiences offered and take advantage of the networking opportunities. You never know where skills you acquire and the connections you make during the internship will take you!”
CTNC and our partners are proud to cultivate and provide support to our future conservation leaders. We can’t wait to see how Jennifer and the rest of the 2017 Diversity in Conservation Internship Program participants continue to advocate for conservation and work to save the places you love across North Carolina!
About CTNC’s Emerging Leaders Program
The Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s Emerging Leaders Program helps connect young people to the outdoors where they can establish a lifelong appreciation for the natural world and an understanding of the critical benefits that land and water conservation provides. Through the Diversity in Conservation Internship Program, CTNC AmeriCorps, NC Youth Conservation Corps, and Future Leaders of Conservation advisory board, CTNC creates employment pathways by connecting young people to academic studies and careers in conservation. Learn more at www.ctnc.org/connect/emergingleaders.