Thank your for your interest in applying for the Leadership Academy. Applications closed for the Fall 2021 cohort. Contact us if you are interested in a future cohort!

About the Nature for All Leadership Academy


The Nature For All Leadership Academy (Leadership Academy) was established in 2011 to support the Nature For All coalitions’ mission of training and empowering the next generation of diverse environmental leaders who will care for and protect our public lands. The Leadership Academy is a FREE 5-month public lands advocacy training program that trains local leaders to advocate for our local mountains and rivers.

Participants gather every week from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm to discuss the Nature For All campaign; community organizing; strategic planning; power mapping; public speaking; strategic media; public engagement; and local ecology. With mentorship from members of the Nature for All coalition, each participant is expected to propose and execute a community project that engages their community in protecting and enhancing the San Gabriel Mountains and rivers. Hear more about the academy and projects from recent graduates themselves below!

What to Expect

The Leadership Academy (or the “Academy”) is a FREE training program designed for diverse communities from historically underrepresented neighborhoods in LA County. Currently, the Academy is a hybrid program with the majority of classes online/virtual and at least one Saturday for the first three months in person outside. The Academy classes used to be held in person; when we are able to safely meet again, we will bring in-person meetings back. The Academy is a competitive program; we only allow for 15 per cohort to create a small community, yield greater impacts, and allow the best chance for participants to learn from and connect with each other.

The Academy can be broken down into two parts: 1) the training and 2) project implementation. The first three months of the Academy is where we host the public lands advocacy training program. The last two months of the training program is more loosely organized and focused on mentorship and project implementation (more on the project below).

If accepted into the program, the first three months of the Leadership Academy will consists of virtual meetings every Tuesday evenings, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the first Saturday(unless noted otherwise) of the month, from 8 am to 2 pm. This is a total of 12 classes.

Each Academy class is interactive and includes skill-building workshops and discussions on how the skills can be applied in environmental protection, advocacy efforts and in each of the participant’s community projects.

ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS: Because of the number of applications, the Academy is a competitive program! In 2020, we had more than 60 applicants but we can only take 15 participants per cohort. Please expect an email regarding scheduling for a phone interview, after you submit your application. This phone interview with a staff or coalition member is a chance to learn more about why you are interested in the Academy and more about your project idea.

Leadership Academy Projects

Each participant is expected to organize and carry out a project within three months of graduation that will serve their community and will work towards our goal of further protecting our local San Gabriel Mountains and Rivers. If accepted into the program, participants will receive direct mentorship from coalition members, alumni, or partners on project design, implementation, and follow-up.

Each participant is required to write a Letter of Intent for their project and verbally pitch their projects to Nature for All members, to be eligible for a grant worth up to $1,000 for their project. Please note that the project can change from when you applied to when you graduate, but must be connected to our missions to further enhance and protect the San Gabriel Mountains and must be completed no later than April 2022. Funding from this grant can NOT be used for fundraising purposes.

Find out more about past Leadership Academy projects: https://lanatureforall.org/leadership-academy-projects/

Who Should Apply?

  • Those over the age of 15- anyone under is welcome to apply, just be mindful that the curriculum was designed at the college level.
  • Those who live in LA County
  • Those with a passion to improve their communities
  • Those who have a desire to learn more about Public Land advocacy
  • Those who have a desire to learn more about local environmental issues and how to get involved
  • Those who identify as black, indigenous or people of color or those that come from park poor communities( as identified in the LA County Parks Need Assessment)
  • Those who have an equal interest in the CA Naturalist Program, but is not the sole reason for applying.

What recent graduates had to say about the program:

Through Nature for All’s leadership academy, I was connected with workshops, advocacy tools, networking opportunities and career resources. The leadership academy really shaped my ability to put in motion the steps to pursue a career in environmental conservation. Since graduating, I started a position as the California Desert Program Manager with the National Parks Conservation Association and completed a certification as a California Naturalist. I appreciate N4A’s commitment to public lands and ensuring more BIPOC leaders have a supportive path to environmental careers.

― Demi Espinoza, Cohort 17

The NFA Leadership Academy helped me understand that we are not alone. There is help out there and people are more than willing to help you carry out your vision. I learned that it is important for decisions about us to involve us; After all, if we are not at the table we are on the menu! If you have a passion and desire for community, equity and environment please, please, please, apply- your unique perspective and experience is needed!

― Carlos Casas, Cohort 17


Questions? Learn more about the academy and what to expect at our one hour long informational session held on September 7 ,2021 at 6 pm via Zoom! Can’t attend? No worries, check back after the session for a link to the recording! If you have any questions, please email araceli@lanatureforall.org.

Missed the informational Session? Watch it here!

Applications are due by Sunday, September 19 , 2021, by 11:59 pm PT

Priority deadline: Sunday, September 12, 2021, by 11:59 pm PT

Apply Below!