Camilo McConnell, RAY Conservation Fellowship

Camilo McConnell

I came to The Nature Conservancy through a fellowship organized by the Environmental Leadership Program's RAY Conservation Fellowship. The RAY program aims to increase racial diversity in the conservation field by pairing recent college graduates from underrepresented communities to conservation organizations.

I was born and raised in Chicago. I recently graduate from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where I received a degree in Urban Planning and Public Policy. I previously worked as a community organizer for a Chicago mayoral campaign. Spent a year working for a Legal Aid Society. Most recently, I interned at the UIC Office of Sustainability, where I piloted a food recovery program with the University of Illinois Hospital. My role at The Nature Conservancy has been to support the City Habitats coalition, case-study research, website content creation and helping with internal diversity, equity and inclusion work.

My passion for water was shaped by my experience growing up next to the Great Lakes where I developed an interest in maintaining the beauty and function of freshwater systems.