The James River Leadership Academy is a year-long program consisting of leadership development and skill building curriculum designed for 10th, 11th and 12th grade students who are passionate and committed to protecting the future of our natural resources in Virginia, including the James River.

JRLA is designed to engage, develop, train and inspire participants in preparation of taking personal and community-wide action toward addressing environmental issues. JRLA will equip participants with tools, methods, and resources to become leaders for the environment as well as continue further growth and development in their personal, academic, and professional careers.

Accepted JRLA students will meet for the entirety of four Leadership Sessions throughout the year.

Most Leadership Sessions will take place at the James River Ecology School, a residential environmental education facility located on Presquile National Wildlife Refuge near Hopewell, Virginia. Other Leadership Sessions will take place throughout the watershed in wilderness settings such as state parks, historic points of interest, and riverside campsites.

A successful JRLA candidate will have an expressed interest in the environment and concern for the future of the James River. Other desired qualities include outdoor experience and ambitions for pursuing higher education or careers in any field of study. Students will be required to complete an application and obtain two positive letters of recommendation, one from a current teacher and one from an unrelated adult they know personally.

James River Leadership Academy Website