Toyota USA Foundation Renews Support of the Nature Conservancy with $4
Grant will Expand LEAF, an Environmental Leadership Program for Urban Youth
NEW YORK -- March 18, 2013
The Toyota USA Foundation announced a $4 million grant over the next two years
to support the expansion of the Nature Conservancy’s signature youth program,
Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF). LEAF is a
comprehensive, environmental leadership program for teenagers and educators
from green schools across the country. The Toyota USA Foundation has supported
LEAF since 2010.
The investment will build upon LEAF’s 18 years of success by supporting
continued growth in 11 cities and expanding job opportunities for urban youth
on nature preserves in 26 states.
"The LEAF program had a profound impact on me and my view of the world, and it
led me to a career creating a greener, more sustainable world,” said Josh
Carrera, 22, a LEAF alumnus who recently graduated from the University of
Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. “Everything
that I'm doing now, started with LEAF.” Josh is currently pursuing his
master’s degree in Conservation Leadership at Colorado State University’s
Warner College of Natural Resources.
“The Toyota USA Foundation is proud to continue its support of LEAF to advance
our shared mission of empowering the next generation of conservation leaders
and diversifying the environmental movement,” said Patricia Salas Pineda,
Group Vice President of Philanthropy at Toyota Motor North America. “By
combining real-world job opportunities with classroom experiences, LEAF
introduces students to the importance of protecting our planet and inspires
them to pursue careers in conservation.”
LEAF’s mission is to engage urban youth in conservation activities now so that
they will become future stewards for our planet. The program provides paid,
residential career internships for students on nature preserves around the
country and enriches their experiences in the classroom by providing
professional development opportunities to educators from partner high schools.
According to a recent alumni survey of LEAF participants, 34 percent have gone
on to major in life science fields in college and 21 percent of those majored
in environmental studies. Approximately 33 percent of LEAF alumni have secured
budding careers in related fields, and over half go on to volunteer for
environmental causes in their communities.
“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,” said Mark Tercek, President and CEO of The Nature
Conservancy. “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 empower youth around the country and help nurture a passion for
Learn more about the students that LEAF serves, the Toyota USA Foundation and
about this unique partnership model at www.nature.org/LEAF.
About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around
the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and
people. Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 119 million
acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide — and we operate more
than 100 marine conservation projects globally. The Nature Conservancy works
in all 50 states and more than 30 countries—protecting habitats from
grasslands to coral reefs, from Australia to Alaska to Zambia. For more
information, visit www.nature.org.
About the Toyota USA Foundation
The Toyota USA Foundation is a $100 million charitable endowment created to
support education programs serving kindergarten through 12th grade students
and their teachers in the United States, with an emphasis on mathematics,
science and environmental science. For additional information about the Toyota
USA Foundation, visit www.toyota.com/foundation.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
The Nature Conservancy
Vivian Llodra, 212-524-8054
Toyota USA Foundation
Luis Rosero, 212-715-7493
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