Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Student Conservation Association, Inc.

Arlington, VA


SCA's mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of our environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.

Ruling Year


President and Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Jaime Berman Matyas

Main Address

4245 North Fairfax Drive Suite 825

Arlington, VA 22203 USA


Internships, Conservation, Volunteers, Youth, Service, Diversity, Careers, Land, SCA, Students Conserving America





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Add a problem overview to your profile.

Update now

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

National High School Crews

Community Programs

Conservation Intern Program

Conservation Corps Program

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of participants engaged in programs

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Acres of natural habitat restored

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Hours of conservation service

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Number of people receiving environmental education and outreach

Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

SCA's mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of our environment and communities by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.

As the nation's leading youth conservation service organization, SCA empowers young people of all backgrounds to plan, act and lead while they protect and restore America's natural landmarks, cultural resources and urban green spaces. SCA volunteers' hands-on service ensures that our public lands will be there to sustain others well into the future.

As these young people shape the land, the land shapes them in unique and powerful ways. In addition to its environmental impact, SCA service strengthens numerous life skills that foster optimal advancement and help teens prosper. Research demonstrates that along with increasing participants' environmental awareness and sustainable behaviors, SCA enhances individual leadership and social responsibility while fueling continuous growth.

Since its founding in 1957, more than 85,000 high school, college and graduate students have served with SCA, and 70% of our alumni remain active in conservation through their careers and/or studies.

As the world's environment knows no boundaries, the efforts of SCA members – both past and present – are advancing global stewardship and sustainability.

SCA engages participants in immersive, hands-on service experiences. Members are challenged by their new settings and responsibilities, the intensity of their assignments and the often “unplugged" nature of their work in nature. These experiences also include intentional elements of teamwork, self-exploration, reflection, leadership development and career preparation.

For 15-19 year olds, SCA offers the opportunity to serve on adult-supervised conservation crews that run for two-to-four weeks during summer school vacations; participants build trails and restore habitats while learning about the local environment and general sustainability. For those 18 and older, SCA offers internships in a wide range of conservation disciplines for a period of three-to-12 months.

SCA programs take place in all 50 states, in locations ranging from iconic national parks to green spaces in some of America's leading cities. These service opportunities are offered in partnership with federal agencies such as the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, as well as local, state and regional resource management organizations.

A full-time professional staff recruits, trains, and manages SCA crew leaders, who facilitate high school-aged and young adult crews in urban and backcountry areas in all 50 U.S. states. Other program staff place thousands of interns in positions with agency partners, where they receive supervision and mentorship from an on-site staff member.

SCA volunteers annually provide more than 1.3 million hours of service to protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks, and urban green spaces across the United States.

Sixty years ago, SCA created the youth conservation arena and since then, dozens of other regional and local youth corps have formed using the SCA model. SCA is recognized as a national standard bearer in field conservation, risk management, diversity and inclusivity, leadership development and other related disciplines, and we are guided by a series of core values including:

• Service: Performing valuable work that benefits other people, the natural environment, our community or the world, is the glue that binds us together as a society.
• Environmental Stewardship: We believe our natural world must be protected for future generations. An ethic of conservation care and environmental service is fundamental to all we do.
• Community: We seek to build community at all levels. Collaborating for the common good while fostering personal responsibility and compassion for others builds community and citizenship.
• Diversity: Diversity in the broadest sense (culture, class, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, experience, opinions) provides richness and strength. Working together in service to nature unites us and forges a common future.
• Learning: SCA expands our view of the world through service learning experiences that change the way we live and behave.

SCA uses several tools to measure its ongoing progress, including annual plans, balanced scorecard and program evaluation that measures its progress toward conserving lands and transforming lives.

Beyond the previously-cited numbers, some of the most-telling indicators are the figures captured in member exit surveys:

• 96% reported they gained skills that they expect to use in the future
• 92% felt more empowered to protect our parks and natural resources
• 88% believed they were more prepared for their next job
• 84% were better able to work within a team
• 79% planned to volunteer in their communities after SCA
• 77% were more certain about their career paths

Additionally, our Strategic Plan defines goals and objectives, and the Board of Directors annually reviews progress against the plan.

Every day SCA provides opportunities for young people to make a positive impact on the world around them. Every year SCA motivates and deploys thousands of young people who care passionately about improving their natural world. We engage them in our parks, forests and urban green spaces to make improvements and learn conservation and sustainability practices. We teach them how to plan, act and lead, all while making a tangible difference in conservation.

Today, it's clear that as much as the land gains from our young people, our young people gain even more from their work with the land. The lessons we impart stay with these young volunteers as their experiences ripple out into all they do throughout their lives: 96% of SCA members have gained skills that they expect to use in the future and, as noted earlier, 70% of SCA alumni are still active in conservation.

SCA's achievements are the fertile ground on which we build our future. We will remain true to our roots, and we will find efficient, new ways to do our work. We will seek novel ways to nurture the young people who participate in our programs. We will expand on established funding sources and seek nourishing new revenue streams and relevant new funding models. We will continue to grow leaders who make a better tomorrow in any and every way they choose.

External Reviews



Student Conservation Association, Inc.

Fiscal year: Apr 01 - Mar 31

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to view a Sample Report.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?