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© Lora Denis
Three cheers for three finalists! We are very excited to announce that three members of Ontario Nature’s Youth Council have been selected as recipients of Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists under 25.
Our Youth Council is a diverse provincial network of high school students that are dedicated to inspiring, connecting and educating their communities about environmental issues. This group of young environmental leaders have spearheaded campaigns on key conservation issues, including our pollinator and climate change campaigns.
Meet the three Youth Council members who are being recognized for creating positive environmental change in their communities.
Aidan Brushett (Whitby)
Aidan has been an unstoppable force on our Youth Council. He has introduced pollinator initiatives at his highschool, Anderson Collegiate Vocational Institute (ACVI), and in his hometown of Whitby. Thanks to Aidan’s leadership, ACVI became Canada’s first high school to be declared a Bee School, and the Town of Whitby has been named Canada’s tenth Bee City. Aidan hosted a Youth Council Our Special Spaces event in Ajax in 2017, and another event in his hometown in 2018, resulting in the planting of over 1000 native plants!
Sujeethan Vigneswaran (Scarborough)
The self-proclaimed “Brother Nature”, Sujee has proven to be a hardworking and inspirational leader. Sujee’s commitment to ecological restoration and environmental stewardship is contagious. His work with Friends of the Rouge Watershed and with our Youth Council’s Our Special Spaces events has resulted in the planting of over 500 native plants in his community, as well as the removal of harmful invasive species. In addition to Starfish Canada’s recognition, Sujee has also received the Canada 150 Award for Environmental Stewardship, and has joined the Ontario Nature team as the Conservation Intern for the summer of 2018.
Lisa Wang (Toronto)
A longtime member of the Youth Council, Lisa has been very dedicated to the pollinator and Our Special Spaces campaigns. Lisa’s positive and humble approach has allowed her to lead and educate her peers and fellow youth through campaigning at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute, as well as at events such as the Jack Johnson concert in 2017! At Marc Garneau C.I., Lisa coordinated with other Youth Council members to create a pollinator garden that consists of over 200 native plants; an initiative that resulted in her high school’s recognition as the second high school to be declared a Bee School in Canada.
As Aidan, Lisa, and Sujee move on to university this coming fall, there’s no doubt they will continue to be inspirational environmental leaders. We are beyond proud to call them Ontario Nature Youth Council alumni.
Follow the Youth Council on Facebook and Instagram for updates on upcoming campaigns and events over the next year!