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LA Conservation Corps Awards Nearly 200 Scholarships

Join Together to Celebrate Another Year of Success
Helping Inner-City Youth.

/ Los Angeles, California------April 9, 2012-----The Los Angeles Conservation Corps is proud to acknowledge that the next generation of environmentalists are among the youth who will be recognized with scholarships at the annual luncheon. The LA Conservation Corps will award $200,000 in scholarships to 188 participants at its luncheon April 20 from 11:30AM to 2PM at Los Angeles State Historic Park (1245 North Spring Street 90012). Bruce Saito, Executive Director of the LA Conservation Corps has often commented that he is no longer surprised when he hears about the triumph of human spirit that epitomizes the character of LA Corps participants. However, he is always inspired.

The celebration will feature keynote speaker, US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson. Bryson has a long affiliation with the LA Conservation Corps which began in 1992. While he was CEO of Edison International, John and the organization responded to the Los Angeles civil unrest and the high youth unemployment rates by supporting the first LA Conservation Corps expansion, with the opening of the East Los Angeles site. That initial support began a long relationship which still exists today through the service of Jack D. Sahl, Chair of the LA Corps' board and employee of Southern California Edison.

We are also pleased to honor the U.S. Forest Service for its leadership in providing vital training, work experience and job opportunities for our participants over the last decade. Corpsmembers have been involved in critical forest and habitat restoration, tree planting work and service projects at the Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland National Forests.
And finally, we are excited to recognize The Nature Conservancy for its partnership in restoration projects on Santa Cruz Island, where Corpsmembers were able to work closely with Conservancy staff and scientists in a remote ecological environment, learning about preservation efforts, invasive plant eradication and how to survive the choppy boat ride across the channel (which was a first for many of them!)

The true stars of this event are the scholars, a few of whom will share their story of triumph at this year's luncheon. In addition, actor Jake Gyllenhaal is scheduled to attend for a third year to help present the scholarships.

In 25 years, Corpsmembers have planted more than 32,000 trees, removed 12 million square feet of graffiti, cleaned 5,000 blighted alleys, built 25 playgrounds for children, rescued 14,000 marine animals at the Corps' SEA Lab, restored 900 acres of natural habitat, taught 19,000 schoolchildren about recycling, and recycled more than 10,000 TONS of bottles and cans from schools and communities.

As LA Corps Alumni Vincent Montoya said, "The staff and the organization … provided me direction to realize the four magical words, 'I can do it.'"

More than 800 past and present participants have been able to attend colleges, universities and trade schools with help from the Russell Kantor Scholarship Fund, the Teague Family Scholarships and the Fred J. Aves Vocational Education Fund. The Russell Kantor Scholarship Fund was created in memory of the son of LA Conservation Corps founder Mickey Kantor, who served as United States Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton administration.

About the LA Conservation Corps: The Los Angeles Conservation Corps is a 501(c) 3 private non-profit organization founded in 1986 by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Trade Ambassador Mickey Kantor. Its primary mission is to provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community. The Corps is a national leader in workforce development and alternative education for inner-city youth and is currently the largest urban conservation corps in the nation with a full-time staff of over 150 employees serving 17,000 young people each year.

For press information please contact Mike Mena of Ileana International Inc at 310 316-0612 or at