Congratulations to the 2020 CCL students!
We are so proud of this 10th group of CCL students! Even in this challenging time, these twelve young conservation leaders found time to complete impressive stewardship projects and create videos to share with you. The students are excited about their projects and their experiences will become the foundation for future conservation work. Scroll down to learn more.

The Fred Chase Memorial Scholarship is an award presented to a CCL student who
best exemplifies former mentor Fred Chase’s spirit of converting ideas into action and who
expresses the characteristics and interest in conservation that Fred embodied. The award is
given by his friends in the men’s group at The Church of the Holy Spirit.

This year, we are pleased to present this award to two outstanding CCL seniors, Eduardo Flores and Emir Suhaime.

Eddie is a senior at Waukegan High School. He has participated in every aspect of CCL since his freshman year and demonstrated considerable achievement in conservation throughout his time in high school. He participated fully and enthusiastically in every aspect of CCL and has proven to be a leader throughout. Eddie is exceptionally committed to conservation causes and the environment, reinvigorating his high school Environmental Club this year. As their leader, Eddie led student involvement in climate change awareness, community advocacy and school improvement. He is a friend to all and will bring this spirit to his next adventures in college.

Emir, a senior at North Chicago Community High School, is unusual in the CCL program as he did not attend the initial Wisconsin trip. Passionate about nature and environmental sustainability, Emir became involved with CCL as a restoration intern and was the only intern who did not miss a day, or even an hour over two summers of work. He volunteers eagerly whenever there is any opportunity. Emir made an impressive commitment to the work he undertook and we are excited that he will be with us this summer as an official Restoration Ecology Intern before he matriculates at Colorado College next fall.

CCL Students
Top row (left to right): Adam Valiji, Kathia Torres, Stephanie Martinez, Will Tegtmeyer
Middle row (left to right): Dylan Chapley, Cristian Diaz-Santos, Izabela Berganza, Pedro Ocampo
Bottom row (left to right): Kelly Tsongtjargal, Yessinia Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Torres, Emir Suhaime

CCL Mentors
Top row (left to right): Ben Martindale, Charlie Hoffmann, Erika Vernon, Carolina Wence
Middle row (left to right): Maddie Mahan, Suzy Marshalla, Mark Senger, Chris Vernon
Bottom row (left to right): Nan Buckardt, Krissa Skogen, Stephanie Oettinger, Tim Bliese

Thank you to our Mentors!
CCL mentors come from different backgrounds but they all encourage that “sense of wonder” so important in student development. They enthusiastically devote many hours and much energy to work with the students, guiding the stewardship projects, dispensing sage advice and helping with project presentations. They are a very dedicated group of volunteers and we are deeply grateful to them!


Adam Valiji
Removing Invasives
Sophomore | Maine East High School

Kathia Torres
Caring for Our Lakes
Senior | Round Lake High School

Stephanie Martinez
Cheers for Trees
Sophomore | Round Lake High School

Will Tegtmeyer
Disposing of Pharmaceuticals
Senior | Libertyville High School


Dylan Chapley
Community Stewardship
Sophomore | Warren Township High School | slides

Cristian Diaz-Santos
Environmental Club
Senior | Waukegan High School

Izabela Berganza
Springing Homes
Sophomore | Round Lake High School

Pedro Ocampo
Guide to Invasives
Senior | Waukegan High School | video


Kelly Tsongtjargal
Ocean Waste Awareness
Sophomore | Maine East High School

Yessenia Rodriguez
Guide to Invasives
Sophomore | Zion Benton Township High School | video

Kaitlyn Torres
Senior | Waukegan High School

Emir Suhaime
Sustainability Awareness
Senior | North Chicago Community High School