Jessica Magonet, 2016 Finalist

Jessica Magonet, 2016 Finalist

AGE: 23
HOMETOWN: Montréal, QC

Jessica Magonet has been an environmentalist since kindergarten. She credits her teachers for kickstarting her environmental journey—especially Ms. Williams, her first grade science teacher, from whom Jessica first learned about the hole in the Earth’s ozone layer.
Now at 23 years of age, Jessica’s passion for the environment is stronger than ever, and she is eager to share the lessons that her educators instilled in her throughout her youth.

At a young age Jessica joined an Arctic educational expedition called ‘Students on Ice’. While already an active environmentalist through activities such as volunteering with the Sierra Youth Coalition, this was a pivotal and transformative experience in Jessica’s life. Participating in the Student on Ice expedition strengthened her interests in protecting the Arctic and defending the rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Furthermore, this experience played a large part in directing Jessica toward the next big chapter of her life: law school. During the Students on Ice program, Jessica felt challenged as an activist when she needed to interpret and take a position on laws and policies she knew little about. As a result, Jessica decided to enroll in law school at McGill University and specialize in environmental law. During her studies, she continued her Arctic-focused environmental activism and attended Rio+20 to lobby world leaders on Arctic protection.

Jessica’s friends describe her as humble, compassionate, and dedicated: “Jessica may be small in stature, but she is gigantic in impact and enthusiasm.” She is a young, artistic, happy-go-lucky girl who loves the environment, philosophy, and believes in the power of poetry to protect the wild.

Jessica is a passionate believer in a clean future and the ability to work within current systems to shift people’s thinking toward this future. She is confidant that no matter what we are most interested in, be it fashion, cooking, philosophy, or basketball, we can all find easy and practical ways to be environmentally friendly.

Jessica is grateful to all of the teachers and educators who have inspired her as she journeys through life. In turn, Jessica’s strength and passion in guiding us toward a sustainable future is much to be grateful for!


  • Jessica began law school at McGill University at the young age of 19 and worked as a summer law student for Ecojustice during her time at McGill
  • Jessica was on the board of the McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy (JSDLP) as Associate Editor, Executive Editor, and Editor-in-Chief for over three years
  • Jessica currently works for the University of Calgary Public Interest Law Centre, where she manages governance for the organization and works on environmental matters of public interest in Alberta
  • In August, Jessica will begin working as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada

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