Students Leading the Push for Environmental Protection | Community Idea Stations


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Students Leading the Push for Environmental Protection

Do you love the James? The environment? Are you a high school student looking for a top-notch skill-building opportunity this summer? Look no further!

The James River Leadership Academy is a brand-spanking-new program from the James River Association to provide training to interested environmental stewards. High school students in 10th and 11th grade are urged to apply to take advantage of skill building workshops, discussions, team building exercises and outdoor appreciation curriculum that will culminate in community-based Action Projects. The deadline to apply is April 10, 2015.

This is a chance to work with professionals in the field to develop and grow leadership skills, speaking skills and awareness for environmental issues that will equip students with a unique experience to support their personal, academic and professional careers. Work with engineers, restoration technicians, wildlife biologists,land-management staff, green-building architects, policy specialists and other partners interest in engaging with students as mentees.

A year-long commitment, the JRLA kicks off in August with a week of skills training and hands-on outdoor experiences. Most activities will take place at the James River Ecology School located on Presquile National Wildlife Refuge near Hopewell, Va. Four sessions build toward a project symposium and celebration of the Action Projects the students will undertake. (Session dates are: Session One: August 9 - 15, 2015, Session Two: October 23 - 24, 2015, Session Three: January 29 - 24, 2016, Session Four: May 21, 2016).

This opportunity is free of charge to accepted applicants—all you need is transportation and a passion for the environment. Students who attend school in the James River watershed are eligible to apply.

So if these skills look like something you want to refine...

  • Appropriately communicate ideas and concerns on individual and group levels
  • Accurately identify strengths, skills, and areas for growth in developing leadership styles in self and others
  • Display appropriate initiative in a leadership role with peers
  • Demonstrate effective problem-solving and planning skills
  • Display excellent and consistent public speaking skills

...and the outdoors is something you love…

...and you want to be part of the very first JRLA cohort

...visit to download a 2015-2016 James River Leadership Academy application, or contact Georgia Busch, JRA’s Watershed Educator at or (804) 788-8811, ext. 214.

Applications can be submitted to the email address above or by mail to:
James River Association
attn: Georgia Busch
4833 Old Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23231

The deadline to apply is April 10, 2015. Get moving!

Article by: Lauren N. Colie, Print/Online Journalism and English major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Lauren is Editor-in-Chief of Auctus, VCU’s Undergraduate Research Journal, as well as a Lead Teaching Assistant for a research-writing course. She recently joined the Science Matters team as a special student correspondent.