Written by Youth Water Leader Carina Harb
The career fair that happened on Tuesday, January 26th, was an amazing opportunity for youth like me to learn more about the different career choices involving environmental protection. All the speakers had unique paths that shaped their vision and careers in preserving water and nature.
Meredith Brown, a past Riverkeeper and now environmental consultant, spoke about the importance of moving people to action and ‘’working for and with people’’. A key message that I learned is that everyone can have an impact and make a change.
Rodney Wilts spoke to us about his experiences that lead him from being an environmental lawyer to a successful entrepreneur and eco-conscious developer. Something that resonated with me is how we shouldn’t be afraid of change: we should always be willing to try new things and embrace different opportunities.
Another panelist, Anastasia Lintner, advocates for better environmental protections as an environmental lawyer with the CELA. She studied to obtain a PhD in Natural resources then went into law. I loved her perspective that you can’t determine the value of natural things with money; all living beings have intrinsic value.
Mary Trudeau also followed her passion to become an engineer in the field of hydrology. I admire her choice to always stay true to her personal values and making ecological health a priority, no matter the situation.
Sarah Harmer, a singer, got involved in the fight to protect her community and hometown on the Niagara Escarpment against a massive quarry. I love that she used music as a platform to advocate for environmental rights, and made her voice heard across the country.
Another panelist that inspired me is Steven Cooke. He’s very passionate about fish and research, and his extensive studies were the result of a never-ending pursuit of new knowledge. He mentioned to us that to solve worsening environmental issues we need solutions, and to achieve this goal we need different perspectives and knowledge. Something that resonated with me is that ‘’people are the cause and the solution’’ so everyone needs to work together to solve these issues.
As a second-year student in environmental studies and health science, I often wonder what I should study in grad school or what my career path will be like. This discussion was a good reminder that we can’t predict where life will take us; we just have to embrace different opportunities and always keep learning. These amazing people proved to me that there are so many ways to be involved and make a difference: the possibilities are endless!