Video spotlights Community Environmental Scholars Program

April 24, 2013

A new video, produced by the Center for Inclusive and Engaged Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Extension, highlights the Nelson Institute Community Environmental Scholars Program and the benefits it brings to students and the community. 

The program is designed for those who want to link their passion for the environment with a commitment to the community.

“The Community Environmental Scholars Program supports diverse students in their journey through college,” says Molly Schwebach, the program’s outreach coordinator. “We offer support in professional development skills, financial and scholarship support, and reflection about how students can become inclusive and engaged leaders in their communities.”

Students progress through the tiered program as part of a cohort, taking a one-credit seminar each semester that introduces them to nearby environmental and community organizations, provides them with professional training, and provides an outlet to discuss the links between environmental studies and community service.

“We especially seek out students who are interested in thinking about communities, how they engage with the communities they come from, and how they might better engage with communities once they emerge from the university,” Schwebach continues.

Students also participate in specially designed service-learning capstone courses, helping to solve local challenges in collaboration with local organizations.

“The program has helped me become a leader by being confident and being resourceful,” says Jasmine Jolitz, an environmental studies major now in her third semester of the program. “Being confident in your own strengths is crucial to being successful, so I think this program brings success to students in a multitude of ways. For me, it’s important that I take those strengths and continue them on in community work in the future.”

The Center for Inclusive and Engaged Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Extension produced this Idea Exchange video in collaboration with the Nelson Institute.