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Meet the 2020 Champions of the Environment!

In June 2020, Divert NS awarded $20,000 in scholarships to students who have exemplified leadership in protecting our environment. Meet them below:

$5,000 PROVINCIAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: MICHELLE SONG

Horton High in Greenwich (Annapolis and Kings region)

As founder and co-president of her school’s environmental club, Michelle has helped raise environmental awareness, promote sustainability and organize several green initiatives that benefited her school and community. She helped organize a community bottle drive that raised money to purchase wooden utensils to replace plastic in the school cafeteria. This led to a discussion with cafeteria management about making the switch permanently. Michelle helped organize daily activities for both Earth Week and Waste Reduction Week, including a “sweater day” to lower the heat in the school, and making and planting wildflower “bee bombs” to encourage pollinators. She has also organized and participated in clean-ups around the school and along the town waterfront. To help educate her fellow students and school staff, Michelle organized speakers to talk about the impacts of climate change and how we can all make sustainable choices and implement change. She has chosen environmentally-focused topics for her Science Fair projects, including investigating biocontrol options in horticultural crops that would reduce the need for harsh chemicals. After the pandemic closed schools, Michelle organized a virtual Earth Week for her school – providing daily activities for students to do safely at home.

To read Michelle’s essay on how Nova Scotia can reduce single-use plastics, click here.

$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: AILISH SULLIVAN

Memorial Composite High in Sydney Mines (Cape Breton region)

As part of an environmentally-conscious family, Ailish incorporates sustainable practices daily. Ailish’s family often chooses active modes of transportation (walking, biking and even cross-country skiing) instead of driving. They have also eliminated the use of straws, plastic shopping bags, and disposable cups, opting for reusable items instead. Ailish rarely purchases new clothing, instead, she makes and repairs her clothes and upcycles thrift store purchases. She has also participated in many environmental initiatives within her community, participating in clean-ups, beach restoration projects and community dinners. At school, Ailish was the leader and founder of the school’s environmental club, which organized school clean-ups and clothing drives. They also held a button drive to make Christmas ornaments for residents at the local nursing homes. A pandemic has not stopped Ailish’s efforts. She launched a virtual environmental challenge for all Cape Breton students, aiming to encourage others to do small environmental activities within their communities.

To read Ailish’s essay on how Nova Scotia can reduce single-use plastics, click here.

$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: ANGUS KENNEDY

Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High in Antigonish (Antigonish, Guysborough and Pictou region)

Angus has been passionate about the environment from a very young age; dedicated to reducing his family’s impact by changing their shopping, cooking and water usage habits. As a long-time member of his school’s environmental group, Angus has helped organize several school clean-ups and educated his fellow students on various environmental issues. Angus helped organize community demonstrations as part of the “Fridays for Future” movement. He has also participated in Town Hall discussions and local political debates to promote the importance of environmental initiatives and discuss the impacts of climate change.

To read Angus’ essay on how Nova Scotia can reduce single-use plastics, click here.


$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: EMMA SHIVE

Cobequid Education Centre in Truro (Colchester, Cumberland and East Hants region)

Emma believes that incorporating little changes into her life can make a huge difference. She strives to educate and inspire others to do the same. Emma follows a vegan diet and a plant-based lifestyle to help minimize her impact on the environment. She buys her clothes from thrift shops and donates her old clothing to reduce textile waste in landfills. Emma also participates in community clean-ups with friends and family, and encourages them to make environmentally-conscious choices daily. As a member of her school’s environmental club, Emma has educated the student body about the impacts of climate change and has raised money for sustainable charities. She has also helped organize two climate strikes in Truro.

To read Emma’s essay on how Nova Scotia can reduce single-use plastics, click here.


$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: SIGNE CASWELL

Lockview High in Fall River (Halifax)

Signe has recognized the importance of the environment from a young age, organizing and participating in several community clean-ups and incorporating environmentally-conscious practices in her daily life. She credits her 2017 4H Canada Science Fair project for igniting her interest in water conservation and preventing water pollution. The project has also contributed to her decision to pursue Environmental Engineering so she can provide solutions to these issues. Through 4H, Signe has also distributed wildflower seeds to help promote pollinator species and helped develop a community garden. In addition to organizing and promoting a large community clean-up, Signe also volunteers at a local not-for-profit thrift shop.

To read Signe’s essay on how Nova Scotia can reduce single-use plastics, click here.


$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: ANGEL NIET

Avon View High in Windsor (South Shore and West Hants region)

Angel has been participating in environmental activities since 2008 as an active member of Girl Guides. The activities include shoreline and community clean-ups, planting trees, building vegetable and flower gardens and participating in “Project Wild” and “Leave no Trace” programs. She has led younger Girls Guides in many recycling-related crafts and activities. She has participated in many other environment-related projects and challenges, which extend to her daily practices. She’s chosen a vegetarian diet and has not purchased a car – both decisions based on their environmental impact. She is also interested in gardening and growing her own food. Angel is pursuing Environmental Engineering, in hopes that she can have a career protecting the environment.

To read Angel’s essay on how Nova Scotia can reduce single-use plastics, click here.


$2,500 REGIONAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER: MOLLY MCNAUGHTON

Digby Regional High (Digby and Yarmouth region)

Molly has been a 4H member since 2012, completing several projects and participating in events related to helping the environment. These include beach clean-ups, maintaining gardens at the Maude Lewis Memorial Park, and completing the gardening and the great outdoors projects. 4H has also taught her the importance of sustainable agriculture and its positive environmental impact. Molly works on a local organic farm during the summer, which continues to teach her ways to reduce waste, the importance of healthy eating and agricultural sustainability. She has her own flock of backyard laying hens, and has even produced a short promotional video for the local farmers market to encourage people to support local producers. As an active member of her school’s Me to We Club, Molly has helped organize several events to help end world hunger.

To read Molly’s essay on how Nova Scotia can reduce single-use plastics, click here.

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