The Environmental and Community Leaders Fellowship empowers young adults from diverse urban backgrounds to create equitable access to outdoor opportunities in their communities.
Through this program, fellows will:
- Develop self-awareness, civic leadership skills, and a personal connection to nature during programs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
- Apply their skills to planning and leading community events in urban green spaces,
- Explore related careers and opportunities to be change-makers through mentorship from regional community leaders.
Each year 20 rising juniors from Fulton High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, will be selected during a nomination and application process. Until they graduate high school, fellows will participate in personalized programming designed to inspire each student to find their connection to nature and become community leaders.
After graduation, the program shifts to encourage students to expand their environmental literacy by exploring, investigating and problem solving in the urban environment. Participants engage in monthly meetings in the urban green spaces of Knoxville, group exploration days within the city, and student-led environmental stewardship and education events for their communities.