As the National Park Service (NPS) launches into its second century, developing a workforce that better reflects the rich mosaic of the American public is one of its highest priorities. NPS Academy is an innovative program designed to introduce diverse undergraduate and graduate students from across the country to careers in the NPS. The program develops candidates’ enthusiasm, professionalism, and knowledge of the NPS mission. NPS Academy maximizes career opportunities within the NPS through training, hands on experiences, and personal relationships with NPS professionals. Now in its sixth year, NPS Academy has engaged over 350 students since it began in 2011.
During a week-long spring break orientation in Grand Teton, these participants are introduced to NPS careers and mission through experiential learning opportunities and classroom workshops. This session is then followed by a summer internship at national park units across the country.
GTNPF staff had a chance to visit with this year’s NPSA participants during their spring break session. Tejal Boyd, a student at Clark Atlanta University, shared some thoughts on her week in Grand Teton:
NPSA gave me a chance to experience one of my life long dreams—to visit Grand Teton National Park. I am so grateful for the NPS Academy and all of the organizations who made this experience possible. My week at Grand Teton was very empowering and refreshing. I met 20+ lifelong friends who will help keep stewardship thriving into the next generation.
She went on to share how this experience was especially influential for her work as the founder of her own non-profit organization:
I launched my own small non-profit organization this past summer involving young women leaders. Thanks to NPSA, I plan to implement nature conservation into my programming to help build our future nature stewards. I would recommend NPSA to all young conservationists looking to make a difference in the world.
Thank you, Tejal, for sharing with us your thoughts on the program and thanks to our partners for another incredible year of the NPSA!