​“Support all types of life – not just animals, not just land, but everything in between.”

Reina Ruiz
Student - East Hartford, Connecticut

She’s not your typical member of The Nature Conservancy, and maybe not your typical 19-year-old either.

“I don’t know anyone my age who is into conservation as much as I am, which is sad,” Ruiz says. “I don’t think my friends are surprised that I support a cause like this. I am always the one asking, ‘You’re going to recycle that, right?’ or informing them about the latest news I heard that relates to nature and how I feel about it.”

Ruiz lives in Hartford, Connecticut. She says her parents instilled in her a respect for the environment. “I was always interested in nature and the well-being of animals,” says Ruiz. “I grew up knowing I shouldn’t litter, I should recycle, and I should treat all living things with respect.”

She began supporting The Nature Conservancy in high school and she is one of The Conservancy’s youngest members. After she graduated in 2009, she took a biology course in nursing school, where she developed a greater appreciation for living things we cannot even see. “Life is so complex, but everything works together. It’s really amazing if you take the time to learn.” ​

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