From left to right: Shawn Hilton of SNC-Lavalin, Andrew Harwood of Ecofish Research Ltd., Sophie Yang, and Anitra Paris of Clean Energy BC
At last week’s AGM Luncheon, Clean Energy BC was thrilled to award the Clean Energy Student Scholarship to grade 12 student Sophie Yang of Rutland Senior Secondary School in Kelowna, BC. Funding for this scholarship was made possible with the generosity of Ecofish Research Ltd. and SNC-Lavalin, both of whom had representatives on the Scholarship Committee to help review the record-breaking amount of 86 scholarship submissions.
The Scholarship Committee, consisting of Andrew Harwood of Ecofish, Shawn Hilton of SNC-Lavalin, and Anitra Paris & Jennifer Palfery of Clean Energy BC, reviewed all applications from 86 exceptionally bright grade 12 high school students across BC who are passionate about clean energy, tech, and sustainability.
The Scholarship Committee had requested that applicants respond to the question, “What does clean energy mean to me as a young person in BC?” Subsequently, the committee was astounded with the thoughtful, passionate, and high-quality essays received. They found that the applicants who most stood out were students who are actively pursuing to help alleviate the effects of climate change on a local, community level.
Perhaps most notably, a vast number of essays referenced Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden who has sparked a weekly series of climate strikes around the globe, prompting the hashtag #FridaysforFuture and #SchoolStrike4Climate; exemplifying the power and reach of grassroots movements.
After an in-depth adjudication process that included the careful consideration of both essay response and a review of each student’s recommendation letter, the Scholarship Committee chose Sophie as the recipient of the 2019 Clean Energy Student Scholarship. Sophie’s immense passion for clean energy and technology was unmistakable throughout her writing.
In her essay, Sophie wrote that “energy provides convenience and functional efficiency to our lifestyle however, this convenience is currently obtained through methods which negatively impact our natural environment.” She proceeded to explain that “as a young individual who has grown up here, I feel it would be a shame if such a beautiful place in harmed through human actions.” She therefore asserted that clean energy is a resolution to conserving our natural resources.
Sophie’s Grade 12 Physics instructor, Mr. Richardson, referred to Sophie as “conscientious, insightful, committed, and reliable.” We need future leaders in clean technology like Sophie – leaders who are impassioned, innovative, and resilient changemakers. As an industry association, we are honoured to help foster Sophie’s drive and courage to pursue clean energy with this scholarship.
In the Fall Sophie will be studying in the Faculty of Applied Sciences at UBC Vancouver. She wrote that she is “highly motivated to apply scientific and engineering technologies to solve local and global climate change issues.” Sophie ultimately stated that her career goal is to “become a competent engineer and entrepreneur in the field of innovative and clean technology.”
In her own words, Sophie declared that “in the future, I would not wish for my children, nor my parents to suffer from such human-caused issues which can be fixed. As a young person, I believe clean energy is capable of resolving our current issues and can create a future in which humans and nature can coexist together.”
This is the third year that Clean Energy BC has offered the Clean Energy Student Scholarship at our AGM Luncheon. Check back next spring for updates on our 2020 Student Scholarship!
If you are a youth who is inspired by clean energy, tech, innovation, sustainability, or environmental justice, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how you can volunteer at our forthcoming Fall Conference, Generate 2020, that will be taking place in Vancouver from November 6th – 8th.