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Susquehanna Life

Wildlife Leadership Academy Seeks Motivated Students

Nov 10, 2016 09:45AM ● By Erica Shames
The Wildlife Leadership Academy is currently seeking referrals of motivated students ages 14 to 17 to become Certified Conservation Ambassadors.

Nominations are now being accepted online at ( Letters to nominated students, with an invitation to apply to the 2017 program, will be sent out January 1, 2017.

Nominated students should have demonstrated interest in wildlife and/or fisheries conservation. Accepted nominees will become certified Conservation Ambassadors through attending one of five 5-day residential summer field schools which will focus on white-tailed deer, bass, brook trout, ruffed grouse, turkey, and black bear. Students in each field school will gain extensive knowledge about wildlife/fisheries and conservation, leadership experience, and communication skills. 
Applicants may be nominated by an adult who knows them well but is not a relative (teacher, school counselor, Envirothon advisor, employer, youth group leader, etc.). 
As Conservation Ambassadors, students receive a letter of a recommendation for college applications; certification of community service work, and a certificate designating them as Conservation Ambassadors.  Students are also eligible to apply for three college credits through Cedar Crest College, return to the Academy tuition free the following year, compete for college scholarships, and join an Academy Alumni Network of 100+ wildlife, fisheries, and conservation professionals.
Academy Alumni and Conservation Ambassador Luke Benzinger of Westmoreland County describes his participation in the program as “life changing”. 
“My whole life changed since attending the Wildlife Leadership Academy where I talked to so many knowledgeable adults who wanted to spend time with other teenagers that were there with me," Benzinger said. "These adults opened my eyes to what I could do to teach everyone else in the world about the passion I have for the outdoors.”
The Wildlife Leadership Academy is a cooperative initiative involving state agencies and conservation organizations and is administered by the Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education whose mission is to connect people, nature and community.  
For more information, contact Institute Director, Michele Kittell, at or (570)245-8518 or Program Coordinator, Katie Cassidy at or (570)939-5109.  You can also connect with the Academy online at or Facebook (

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