Inspiring positive environmental change and making a difference in her community motivated Candace Nickerson to join the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps.
The 22-year-old from Guysborough County is attending the conservation corps Aboriginal Leadership Program training camp at Mount Saint Vincent University, from May 18 to 20.
“The program allows me to gain invaluable experience and knowledge in environmental work and to form important connections, all of which can help me reach my long-term career goals,” Ms. Nickerson said.
In Budget 2016-2017 the province is providing $100,000 to the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps, run by the Clean Foundation. As many as 66 summer students will take part in 40 projects, such as stream restoration, land and wildlife protection, ecology education and solid waste and clean tech projects. The training and work helps prepare students through career exposure, skills building, and mentorships.
“I am proud to support the Nova Scotia Youth Conservation Corps,” said Environment Minister Margaret Miller. “We want to encourage students to take advantage of the green economy and to help lead it. “I thank Clean Foundation and the many partners across the province who are part of this game-changing program.”
There are 32 community partners involved in the program, including the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq, the Mi’kmaq Environmental Learning Centre, the Cheticamp River Salmon Association, the Paqtnkek Mi’kmaq Nation, Potlotek First Nation, Town of Bridgewater, Clean Foundation, Hope for Wildlife, Waycobah First Nation, and Glooscap First Nation.
“The Aboriginal Leadership Program is great for preparing students through industry exposure, skill development, and mentorships,” said program coordinator Morgan Book. “These are essential tools that will help them succeed in the green economy and become ecological leaders in the future.”
Workshops focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, occupational health and safety, environmental stewardship and learning about industries and networking.
Christian Francis, from Pictou Landing First Nation, 29, is working with the Mi’kmaw Conservation Group.
“I really enjoy doing good work for the environment and being involved with youth from around the province,” Mr. Francis said. “I hope to inspire others to get involved as it seems like one of the best ways to make positive change.”
“Support from the province allows us to continue to provide hands-on experiences and skills development to students so that they get an understanding of what is needed to innovate for a sustainable future,” says Scott Skinner, executive director at Clean Foundation.