Rainforest Trust recently honored one of its many young supporters with the organization’s first Young Conservation Award. Evelyn Lepsch – an 8th grader at the Peabody School, an independent school in Charlottesville, VA – was tasked with coming up with a project that would make an impact on her local community. She chose to highlight Rainforest Trust’s work.
“All of our students are required to undertake a project when they reach 8th grade, and we do our best to partner the children with local organizations so that they can see just how big of an impact they can have,” said Victoria Young, Evelyn’s teacher and supervisor on this project.
“Evelyn expressed to me that she wanted to focus her project on big cats and conservation, so we sat down and did a bit of research on conservation organizations in Virginia, and that is when we stumbled upon Rainforest Trust,”
Evelyn saw our logo and a photo of a Jaguar from one of our projects and knew that Rainforest Trust would be a perfect partner. A few email exchanges later and Evelyn and her grandparents were at our Warrenton, VA headquarters outlining her plan. As an artist, Evelyn knew she wanted to combine her passions, and so she chose to create a mural depicting big cats and our conservation efforts. Over the next few months, Evelyn worked on her masterpiece that would hang in the main entrance of the Peabody School, so that it would inspire students for years to come.
Once complete, Rainforest Trust was invited to attend a presentation being held by the 8th grade class, showcasing all of the students’ projects. We were honored to have the opportunity to support such a passionate young conservationist, and after Evelyn gave a talk about her project, we were able to give a presentation about the importance of conservation work around the world.
It was during this presentation that Evelyn received her Young Conservation Award, and according to her mother, Nicole, she was both surprised and thrilled to receive it.
“Evelyn was so nervous to present her painting as it means a lot to her… ever since she was a small child, Evelyn has had an immense love for big cats and was so happy to be supported by an organization like Rainforest Trust,” she said.
The event was a huge success for the 90 students that participated, and we here at Rainforest Trust could not be more proud to have someone so talented and passionate about conservation as a supporter!