The Nith Valley EcoBoosters are recruiting youth advocates who’ll be working to increase the amount of environmental and sustainable projects in their schools.
“Our job is to provide schools with resources (grants, programs, etc.) and connections to help them work on greening projects to reach their climate goals. We also advocate for good climate policies within the school board to eliminate any greening challenges that these schools may face,” said Lyndsay Dajka, a youth advocate spearheading the initiative.
Dajka said she wanted to start this program because she believes schools are the best place to create a change in society.
“As we face the climate crisis and begin to build a sustainable future, that change must begin at school. Today’s youth are tomorrow’s adults, so they must be taught about living sustainably in order to carry those lessons into their adulthood,” she said.
She also said that youth can have trouble finding ways to take action on important issues. “I myself struggled for a long time with this and constantly had a feeling that I could be doing more than my own individual actions and the occasional petition.
“Eventually, I started getting involved in community action, and finally I felt like I was making a difference. I joined the Nith Valley EcoBoosters, which then led me to take on the youth advocates program. It took a long time for me to figure out how I can take meaningful climate action, so I wanted to create a space where youth can take meaningful action and make friends in the process.”
The program is targeted toward middle and high school students ages 12 to 18. Dajka says anyone up to age 24 is considered a youth and welcome to join.
Benefits for youth who join as advocates include gaining skills to boost their résumés and postsecondary applications, to make a difference in their community, combat the climate crisis, make community connections, build confidence and receive volunteer hours.
The group is also recruiting people who want to be mentors or leaders in this program, Dajka says anyone interested in a mentorship role can email firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be a virtual information night June 8 at 7 p.m. for young people in Wilmot and Wellesley townships. To find out more, and register to attend, visit the Upcoming Events page on www.nvecoboosters.com.
Said Dajka, “If you are feeling worried or hopeless about the climate crisis, this is the perfect way to help because you will be making a difference alongside other passionate and environmentally-conscience youth. Whether you are good at communications, research, social media, or anything else, you can use your skills to create positive change in our schools and community. Although it may sometimes feel like it, it is most certainly not too late to fix the climate crisis, but we need to act now, and we need to work together.”