The Nature Conservancy has announced a two-year, $3.1 million grant from the Toyota USA Foundation to expand its signature youth program, Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF), an environmental leadership program that serves students attending multicultural high schools in urban areas across the country.
Established seventeen years ago in New York City, LEAF is working to expand into Boston, Atlanta, New Haven, Newark, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles while tripling, to 20,000, the number of students it serves. Through paid internships on nature preserves and professional development opportunities in the classroom, the program engages urban youth in conservation activities with an eye to helping them become future stewards of the planet.
"We are truly grateful for the Toyota USA Foundation's generosity in supporting LEAF, as its grant will play a huge role in the Nature Conservancy achieving the long-term goals of expanding the program to reach even more students and educators and diversifying the environmental field," said Nature Conservancy president and CEO Mark Tercek. "The future of our planet is in the hands of our young leaders and we look forward to continuing our work with the Toyota USA Foundation in order to engage youth around the country and help foster a passion for the environment."