Emily VanToever: #Rising Youth
promoting environmental stewardship in PEI

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a resident of Stanhope, PEI and a graduate of the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus. I currently work as a construction electrician. I feel very lucky to live just outside of a national park and greatly value the gorgeous environmental resources I am surrounded by.

How did you hear about #RisingYouth, and what inspired you to apply?

I heard about Rising Youth through a friend that shared the application page via Facebook. I wanted to do something to benefit the Covehead and Brackley Bay Watershed, which is the area I live in.

Can you explain what your project is, how you came up with it, and the purpose of it?

I created an education series about Covehead and Brackley Bay to help promote environmental stewardship in my community. I used data collected from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the local watershed group, Friends of Covehead and Brackley Bay Watershed to develop the series.

What has the reaction to your project been in your community?

Largely positive. I believe the sessions I organized that catered to smaller children were the most impactful.

Why do you think it is important for youth to be engaged in community service initiatives like #RisingYouth?

It’s important to engage in service projects because it’s a positive way to foster solidarity and good will in our communities.

If youth are interested in applying for a Rising Youth Community Service Grant but don’t know where to start, where do you suggest they find project ideas?

I suggest they either identify a need within the community, or try to identify something about their community that they are specifically interested in.

What have been some of the highs and lows of getting your project off the ground?

The high of the project was engaging with children about a topic that I’m passionate about, in a way that was impactful to them. I found it a bit discouraging that I didn’t get the same energy back from adults as I did with youth, but then again, I found it harder to target and identify adult audiences.

Any final advice or suggestions for youth who are considering applying?

I would just like to encourage anyone considering a service project to apply.