Each year, Divert NS offers up to $20,000 in scholarships to Grade 12 students across the province who exemplify leadership and demonstrate a commitment to protecting our environment.
Meet the 2021 Champions of the Environment!
Congratulations to six 2021 Divert NS Champion of the Environment Scholarship winners. Click on the recipient names below to learn more about these environmental champions and read their award-winning essays:
- $5,000 Provincial Winner: Keeley Shipley - Antigonish, Guysborough and Pictou region
- $2,500 Regional Winner: Mary MacInnis - Cape Breton region
- $2,500 Regional Winner: Chloé Duguay - Colchester, Cumberland and East Hants region
- $2,500 Regional Winner: Jack Rands – Halifax region
- $2,500 Regional Winner: Ella Stevens – South Shore and West Hants region
- $2,500 Regional Winner: Aaliyiah Horner – Digby and Yarmouth region
$5,000 PROVINCIAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: KEELEY SHIPLEY
Northumberland Regional High, Westville (Antigonish, Guysborough and Pictou region)
After a volunteer trip to Nepal and seeing the impacts of climate change and water pollution, Keeley was determined to make a difference. Keely founded Pictou County Fridays for the Future, with a goal to empower youth to learn about environmental issues and create change in their communities. The group organized climate strikes, workshops, and community cleanups, which brought political leaders and local youth together to work toward a common goal. Keeley is also a member of New Glasgow’s Youth Climate Council, creating educational videos about waste management and helping New Glasgow become one of the first Pollinator Friendly towns in Atlantic Canada. Through Keeley’s leadership roles with student council and the school’s environmental club, her school has also become the first Bee School in Atlantic Canada, pledging to provide student education about pollinators and planting pollinator-friendly plants around the school. Keeley has organized numerous school yard cleanups, helped organize a reusable mug and cutlery program at school, created educational messaging for morning school announcements, and has implemented several environmental practices to her daily life.
To read Keeley’s essay on food waste reduction, click here.
$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: MARY MACINNIS
Riverview Rural High, Sydney (Cape Breton region)
Mary uses a scientific approach when trying to find solutions for environmental issues. With science fair projects ranging from designing a microplastic filter for washing machines, to creating plastic-based biodiesel from captured microplastics, Mary has applied her engineering skills to help solve environmental issues. Mary is also president of Riverview’s Green Team. The team organized several fundraisers for a water bottle filler at the school, and Mary has also organized numerous after-school cleanups and helped improve the school’s waste bin signage.
To read Mary’s essay on food waste reduction, click here.
$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: CHLOÉ DUGUAY
Cobequid Education Centre, Truro (Colchester, Cumberland and East Hants region)
Chloé incorporates environmentally conscious activities into daily life. Whether it is switching from single-use items, maintaining a vegetarian diet, or purchasing clothes secondhand, Chloé thinks about the impact of each choice. These actions have inspired family members to also examine their daily practices and incorporate many of the same activities. Chloé is a long-time member of the school’s environmental club. Activities with the club have included organizing and attending several climate strikes, holding a bottle cap drive to create a mural, organizing beach cleanups, and writing letters to government officials regarding environmental issues and legislation. Chloé has also attended the Rotary Youth Conference, which addressed environmental advocacy and allyship.
To read Chloé’s essay on food waste reduction initiatives, click here.
$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: JACK RANDS
Citadel High, Halifax (Halifax region)
As a long-time member of Citadel High’s Environmental and Global clubs, Jack has worked on reducing single-use plastic in the school’s cafeteria, educated himself on sustainable buildings and construction, and encouraged other students to walk or bike to school. Jack also helped form the ‘Citadel Cleanup Core,’ which focuses on cleaning up litter around the school and spreading awareness of litter’s impacts. The group also created educational messages about waste management and sustainable transportation. Not satisfied with only picking up the litter, Jack organized his own mini-audits, identifying commonly littered items. This information was then used to develop educational messages about the issues and proper disposal of these items.
To read Jack’s essay on reducing food waste, click here.
$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: ELLA STEVENS
Liverpool Regional High, (South Shore and West Hants region)
As a gold-level participant of the Duke of Edinburgh program, Ella has completed over 455 hours of public service, by way of weekly beach cleanups throughout Queens County. These cleanups required a lot of time and effort, and Ella often encourages her friends and family to come out with her to help with the larger cleanups. In 2019, Ella participated in the Students on Ice program, a two-week expedition around the coasts of Greenland and Nunavut. During this trip, Ella learned much about the northern environment and the impacts of climate change, while also learning about her own indigenous roots and lessons from other First Nations. After returning home, Ella was even more inspired to contribute to a better environment for future generations.
To read Ella’s essay on food waste reduction, click here.
$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: AALIYIAH HORNER
Digby Regional High, (Digby and Yarmouth region)
Aaliyiah has long-known the importance of preserving the environment. As a long-time member of Girls Guides of Canada, Aaliyiah has participated in numerous beach and community cleanups, planted trees, and reused waste items in crafts and repurposed them in other projects. The items collected on beach cleanups, like ropes, traps and rubber bands were collected and repurposed by the group or given to community members who reused them, turning them into art or using them as building materials. While working at a farmers’ market, Aaliyiah noticed a lot of produce being thrown away. She developed a plan to trim and cutup any produce that were perfectly edible but didn’t look “perfect.” Other produce, like cucumbers and fruit that were getting ripe or were bruised, were turned into pickles and jams. This significantly reduced the amount of food waste and created additional products to sell at the market.
To read Aaliyiah’s essay on food waste reduction initiatives, click here.
Watch the video announcing the 2021 Champions of the Environment!
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Divert NS Scholars
2020 Recipients: To learn about the 2020 Divert NS Champion of the Environment Scholarship recipients - and read their winning essays - click here.
2019 Recipients: To learn about the 2019 Divert NS Champion of the Environment Scholarship recipients - and read their winning essays - click here.
2018 Recipients: To learn about the 2018 Divert NS Champion of the Environment Scholarship recipients - and read their winning essays - click here.
2017 Recipients: To learn about the 2017 Divert NS Champion of the Environment Scholarship recipients - and read their winning essays - click here.