Throughout my childhood I remember being mesmerized by the intricacy of nature and more specifically the ocean. I am fortunate to have grown up with very intelligent parents who exposed me to many different landmarks and destinations such as The Grand Canyon, The Oregon Coast, The California Redwoods, The Hoover Dam, Niagara Falls, Central Park, and many more natural attractions. From a young age I knew the field of science interested me as I excelled in those subjects, but it was not until my final year of high school that I gained a keen interest in sustainability and environmentalism.
My final year of high school occurred during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and our graduating class was stripped of all graduation activities. During this time, I also suffered a major injury and was not able to play my final year of volleyball. I felt as though everything I worked for over the last 5 years was taken from me. I felt like my identity was lost. I remember sitting in my high school library wondering what I wanted to do with my life. I spent more time on my studies and passions than ever before as sports were out of the picture. Though I thought my life was falling apart, it was just starting. I finally signed up for the Environmental Engineering program at UNBC and later found out I was accepted into the competitive program.
After the university acceptance, I was so excited to start my new journey and dive into my newfound passion. The only thing that I noticed was missing was a network of like-minded people. I felt very alone through my last year of high school and first year of university (probably due to the pandemic and social distancing) and was in dire need of some friends whom I shared an interest with. During the final semester of my first year of university, my mom sent me a link for CCSBC and she encouraged me to apply. I knew nothing about the initiative or that anything like this could even occur in Prince George, however I took the risk and sent in my application. I was interviewed by Lindsay and Cherry and they made me feel very inspired and hopeful that I would be chosen as a Prince George cohort youth participant. After I was chosen, I was so nervous yet so excited to see who else would be participating. I remember feeling inspired for what was to come.
During my time at CCSBC, I made connections with like-minded people from all over the province. We went on field trips around our city and participated in workshops that helped establish our team dynamic. My favorite activity was probably the Vancouver trip. The most inspiring part of the trip was travelling with people who had never been to Vancouver and re-living the experience through them. I remember being on the plane and looking over The Coast Mountains and teaching my team member about the geography and landscape. He was not originally from Canada and had been in Prince George for university and had never travelled out of PG. That was a rewarding experience for me because I was able to share my knowledge with someone who took an interest in what I had to say. The best part of CCSBC is that no matter your knowledge on the topic of sustainability and the environment, if you are interested, you will be a contributing part of the CCSBC family. From someone who knew a lot about sustainability already, I loved this initiative because I was able to network with working professionals. This is how CCSBC changed my life.
CCSBC changed my life because I learned there was so much out there for the field of sustainability and environmentalism. I had been studying engineering but felt like the environmental aspect was missing. I was having a conversation with one of the leaders (Sonya) about my interests and she had asked me if I ever thought about earth science and geology as she knew I had an interest in the environment. I knew I wanted to be in a high-paying career and was unsure how many jobs were out there for an earth science major. After I got home that night, I started researching about earth science related careers. At the same time, I was wanting to leave my hometown and expand my experiences by moving away. I then came across a Geoscience Program at Vancouver Island University. The description matched all my interests and pre-requisites and after being accepted I switched degrees and will be pursuing a career in environmental geoscience with hopes to become a P.Geo (Professional Geoscientist).
In conclusion, CCSBC has helped change my life by opening doors and connecting me to many like-minded people. For other youth questioning if they should apply, I highly suggest just taking the risk and diving deep into your passions. When you focus on what inspires you, the opportunities will come. If I wouldn’t have joined the initiative and implemented the
sustainability element into my life outside of the intense sciences I was studying in university, I may not be on the path I am today. I am so thankful for this initiative and all it has taught me.
About the author:
Allison Stubbs is a 20 year old highly motivated geoscience student pursuing her studies at Vancouver Island University! She has grown up in Prince George and participated in the 2021-2022 North Central BC Cohort of the Co-creating a Sustainable BC initiative. She will continue to place sustainability at the heart of all she does.