Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) announced a new partnership and the launch of the recruitment process for the 2018 U.S. Forest Service Hispanic Access Resource Assistant Fellowship. This fellowship will support 12 students for a one-year fellowship to learn about USFS professional opportunities, expose them to natural and cultural resources, and help build skills and experiences required for success in outdoor-related careers.
The program will help support the U.S. Forest Service mission and workforce development goals, develop the next generation of conservation and environmental stewards, and engage diverse communities.
“Our nation’s Latino community cares deeply about enjoying and preserving our public lands,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of HAF. “This exciting fellowship program offers a wonderful opportunity for young people to build essential career skills while serving the community and engaging their peers and families in outdoor recreation and stewardship activities.”
HAF will recruit and provide training and mentoring to fellows to support the U.S. Forest Service mission to care for the land and serve the people. The fellows will be placed onsite at a dozen locations nationwide. These young adults with diverse backgrounds will undertake a wide variety of assignments such as lands management, conservation education, resource interpretation, and rehabilitation activities on public lands across the country.
"Through the Resource Assistants Program, the Forest Service is building a committed, qualified and diverse workforce for the future while fostering the health and productivity of our Nation’s forests and grasslands for all." - Leslie Weldon, Deputy Chief, National Forest System, Forest Service.
The program will incorporate support from a wide range of local and national partners, including REI Co-op. The co-op, which is focused on helping get people outdoors, will support the initiative through a sponsorship and product donation for the fellows.
To date, HAF has recruited, hired, and supervised over 100 talented young adults for federal partners including the National Park Service’s Latino Heritage Internship Program and the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Northeast Urban Program.