Five Seaquam Secondary students are making their mark at the World Environmental Education Congress in Vancouver.
Parvin Malhi (Grade 11), Abhayjeet Sachal (Grade 11), Abnash Kaur Bassi (Grade 11), Sarvan Gill (2017 Seaquam graduate) and Drydan Weibe (2017 Seaquam graduate) were invited to attend the conference on behalf of the Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE), a United Nations program that organizes competitions for students reporting on environmental issues.
All five of the students won the YRE competition in the past several years, taking part in the program through Seaquam’s Green Club.
“These students are so far ahead of their time and visionaries,” said social studies teacher Michael Iachetta, who runs the Green Club at Seaquam. “They’ve just been so involved in sustainable initiatives.”
Four of the students were reporting on the conference for YRE, writing stories for the organization’s website, while Bassi also got the opportunity to speak as a panelist during the closing ceremonies on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
“The fact that I was chosen to represent such a large organization … that allowed me to get more involved with environmental issues and journalism and cinematography. It really meant a lot to me,” she said.
“Something like the World Environmental Education Congress happening in Vancouver isn’t something that’s going to be happening again in the near future. It was very exciting to have this opportunity … so close to home.”
Iachetta taught Bassi back in Grade 9, the year she won the YRE competition.
“I think I realized a couple weeks in there’s only so much challenging I can do for her — and actually all these five students,” he said.
“They say that every teacher has that one student in their lifetime that is just the most incredible. I’ve had about five, and all in one class.”