Two future change-makers just made history.

At the end of July, Adrian Thomas and Janasia Slade completed a summer-long internship with the National Park Service – the first of its kind. Though the National Park Service and Tremont internship programs are long-standing, this is the first year candidates were recruited from Tremont’s Environmental and Community Leaders Fellowship program.

The Environmental and Community Leaders Fellowship is an innovative program that empowers young adults from diverse urban backgrounds to create equitable access to outdoor opportunities in their communities. 

Adrian, an upcoming high school senior, and Janasia, a recent high school graduate, are both Environmental and Community Leaders Fellows. As juniors at Fulton High School, they began working with Tremont staff to learn more about civic leadership skills, develop a personal connection to nature, and to lead community events to highlight urban green spaces. This summer, they took their experience to the next level by participating in the National Park Service’s internship program.

“The goal is to work with Tremont, but also experience different areas, departments and programs in the park,” said Tyler Gonzales, Tremont’s lead teacher naturalist.

Watch the video below to see highlights and reflections on their time as National Park interns.

“One thing I’ve enjoyed about leading kids was showing them anybody could like and enjoy nature,” said Janasia. “At first it took me a while to get used to being outside, but when you’re like me wanting to get out of your comfort zone, doing the internship at Tremont at working with the National Park is definitely an experience anyone would love.”

“This whole internship surprised me,” said Adrian. “Tremont and the National Park Service really did a good job by keeping us interested and busy. I like how y’all treat everyone like family.”

Other Environmental and Community Leaders Fellows have plugged into Tremont’s work in other capacities. Two fellows, Keilah and Andrew, were hired onto Tremont’s summer staff; they have been assisting teacher naturalists with youth and family camps throughout the summer, playing an important role on campus. Funding for Keilah and Andrew’s positions were supported by the Volkswagen Community Grant Program.

Learn more about the Environmental and Community Leaders Fellowship.