26 June 2019
Young environmental enthusiasts get sound advice
“Good socks and hiking boots will be your best friends.”
That was the advice given to 27 Western Australian young people selected to participate in scientific expeditions in the United States through Alcoa Foundation scholarships.
The students got together for the first time last week when Alcoa hosted a meet, greet and information session for them and their families.
A total of 63 young people from across the globe will take part in this year’s NatureBridge program, which brings together like-minded high school students to learn how their actions impact their community and the world around them.
They were chosen because they live in communities near where Alcoa operates and because of their passion for the environment. Another two Australian students, who live close to Alcoa’s operations in Portland, Victoria, will also take part.
The scholars will travel to either Yosemite National Park, in California, or Olympic National Park, in Washington, in July and August, where they will learn about team work, environmental care and the different cultures of their fellow scholars.
Riley Stout, from Baldivis, who travelled to Olympic National Park with NatureBridge last year, was on hand at the Western Australian meet and greet session to share his experience with this year’s scholars.
Riley said the trip made him realise how his actions impact the environment and how small changes make a big difference. “The policy of ‘leave no trace’ is a big deal. I didn’t realise just how large my footprint was until they taught us about how what we leave behind affects the ecosystem,” Riley said.
“My advice for this year’s scholars is to make the most of the two weeks, meet as many people as you can, and socks are important. Good socks and hiking boots will be your best friends.”
One of this year’s scholars, Bunbury Senior High School student Emma Tinley, said she hoped the experience would lead to a deeper understanding of the diverse world we live in.
“I am very grateful for the incredible opportunity to gain perspective on what we can do to preserve natural ecosystems for future generations," Emma said.
“I can’t wait to connect with a variety of people, through our shared love and dedication towards nature, regardless of our cultural differences.”
Mika Sangalli, Senior Communications Adviser, 0410 774 424, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane McGuire, Senior Communications Adviser, 0410 694 676, email@example.com
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