Blue Action Committee Pilot Project: Connecting High School Students to the Water & Wildlife Sectors
This project will focus on career-guiding engagement with high school students interested in the water and/or wildlife sectors by hosting 5 workshops with leaders from water and wildlife industry. To further engage students, we will host a one day hands-on event to install a rock weir to improve fish passage at a degraded site. We will also collectively create a large octopus sculpture with bottles from one week’s worth of recycling to demonstrate the culture of waste. A scholarship will be made available to a student who demonstrates promise as a leader in the water and/or wildlife sector.
What is the problem?
Creating a legacy of environmental stewardship for our youth is a national priority being acted upon by a multitude of groups in many ways. By showcasing local environmental challenges and talent in the water and wildlife sectors, we will increase interest and create a practical platform for students to learn more about the steps necessary to build a career in these important and growing fields. We want to support the leaders of tomorrow.
How will you solve it?
With the creation of the Blue Action Committee (BAC), there will be opportunity at multiple engagement levels to suit the needs of students, thus reducing barriers to the program (executive = high, representative = medium, participant = low, observer = lowest). Workshops, training, portfolio development, networking opportunities, career guidance, hands-on training, media literacy, and exposure to new ideas will help create leaders. We will also initiate an annual scholarship as practical support for those wishing to further their studies in a related field.
The Blue Action Committee is made up of a student executive committee including: President, Vice President, and Media/Communications Coordinator as well as 30 school representatives. Through our 5 workshops we will engage 150 students and our goal is to reach 3,000 students through our project activities.
This project will focus on career-guiding engagement with high school students interested in the water and/or wildlife sectors. In partnership with local high schools, we will pilot a program that aims to match high school students with innovative learning opportunities to help build their professional portfolios and guide career decisions. We will work with environmental science classes to meet learning objectives. We will coordinate the development of a student executive made up of three positions: President, Vice President, and Media/Communications Coordinator following the Canadian Water Network’s Student and Young Professional Committee template. An unlimited number of representatives from surrounding schools will be invited to participate in project activities. We will host at minimum 5 workshops that will educate students about local environmental challenges, highlighting the career path of each special guest. One additional workshop will be hosted to explore social media as a means to exchange information in the professional realm. We will host a one day hands-on event to install a rock weir with participants (permit extension requested) to improve fish passage at a degraded site. Finally, we will collectively create a large octopus sculpture with bottles from one week’s worth of recycling to demonstrate the culture of waste.
- $1,500 – Scholarship (3 x $500)
- $1,500 – HR to coordinate program
- $500 – Project supplies
- $35 – Small Change Fund hosting fee
- $105 – Donation processing fee (3%) so that 100% of donations go directly to our project
Why Blue Action Committee?
A Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network report titled “Profile of Environmental Grantmaking in Canada” highlighted the fact that Atlantic Canada is sorely underfunded with a total of only 3% of the country’s available funding split between the four provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. There is a large gap in funding for the Atlantic provinces, resulting in less environmental stewardship, fewer role models for our youth, and a decrease in value for environmental services. We have identified a unique opportunity to engage youth with local issues, while also providing students with tools to contribute to national conversations about water and wildlife through media literacy training using the CWN’s proven template. Programs such as this are often offered in big cities, and we feel that with a small investment from you, we will be able to bring similar programs to the students of our watershed and beyond. We will create a condensed report outlining the successes and challenges of the pilot project, thus causing a rippling effect by enabling other groups to implement similar projects in their watersheds.