Pura Vida and NPS Academy had a great start to the 2021 season as students explored the multitude of possibilities to work as stewards of our national parks and their natural resources. The above illustration is the Pura Vida logo that was created by participants during the spring session.
NPS Academy ran for five weeks and involved 19 participants from across the country. Students were paid for the internship that included virtual sessions as well as assignments in between, such as a field trip to their nearest national park during the second week of the program. These field trips served as a launching point for diving into NPS organizational values while participants explored their own personal values. The spring programming culminated with students hearing from former NPS directors Bob Stanton and David Vela.
Pura Vida started the spring season with a two-week internship for 13 local Latinx students. During the first week, park staff worked with high school students to introduce them to Grand Teton and the employment and recreational possibilities available in their own back yard national park. These students became mentors for middle school participants during the second week of the program and will continue to be leadership resources for their peers throughout the next year. Participants expressed that Pura Vida has not been just an introduction to the outdoors, but a space for celebrating culture and ethnicity in the local community.
Youth programming in Grand Teton National Park is a pillar of the Foundation's mission. We are proud to support these initiatives educate and inspire students to be stewards of our treasured national parks.