Since 2006, we have donated more than $40 million to community programmes in the Chicago area. One of those programmes is the Student Conservation Association (SCA). We’ve donated $1.75 million to help SCA support local environmental projects and help underemployed young people develop essential skills and experience in environmental stewardship.
Some of this funding has helped SCA created an all-female crew programme specifically designed to provide leadership development opportunities for women wanting to develop a career in conservation. The programme also aimed to create a group of female conservation leaders who could act as role models and encourage other, younger girls to consider careers in science and other similar fields. In 2018, that crew led 70 corporate and community volunteers in the overnight transformation of an abandoned site in Chicago.
Our funding has also helped provide a new tree crew with training in basic urban forestry, first aid, tree identification and resume writing and interviewing skills. And it allowed SCA to launch a tree planting initiative that more than doubled the number of trees planted and maintained in Chicago and northwest Indiana over the course of 2018. Meanwhile, SCA was able to run more than 100 environmental education sessions, reaching more than 2,500 children from 14 different schools across the region, with our financial assistance.
Some seven out of every 10 SCA participants have gone into careers or studies aimed at creating a more sustainable future for the planet. What’s more, 100% of participants say that their experience of working with SCA has given them a stronger work ethic and 71% say it has given them more confidence leading others.