From a very young age, Qurat actively sought out nature, playing with butterflies and ducks at her local creek. As her love for nature developed, she began volunteering at a community garden. Her early connection with the environment and other like-minded people helped her recognize the value of sustainability as a child and become the teenage environmentalist she is today.
As an executive member of the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA) in the Peel region of Ontario, Qurat was involved in planning the EcoBuzz conference. PEYA runs events throughout the school year, connects environmentally minded students and offers support to students wanting to take environmental action at their schools. The EcoBuzz conference is for middle and secondary students and their teachers to explore environmental issues and become inspired to take action.
The conference included talks and workshops from professionals in the environmental community, displays by local environmental groups, a launch of PEYA’s main campaigns for the year and a free healthy lunch and snacks.
Qurat has clearly demonstrated her leadership by successfully uniting youth on the environmental front. It’s her positive attitude and passion for the local environment that inspires her peers to join in the action towards a healthy environment.
In grade nine and ten, Qurat was an active member of her high school’s green team. When she returned to school in grade eleven, she discovered that the group had dissolved. Qurat decided she must take action to bring students together through sustainable movements.
At the beginning of her grade twelve year, she and a teacher supervisor were able to re-establish the green team, promoting environmental initiatives such as a nearby community garden and greening projects. The team also connects students together to converse over what environmentalism really means.
Qurat has a unique ability to bring her peers together through her humour -- a powerful method for positive social change. Her optimism, open-mindedness, leadership and organizational skills have been invaluable in each project she has been involved in.
In the future, Qurat plans to study environmental engineering and become a mentor for young environmental activists. She appreciates the support her parents have shown of her volunteering commitments. She is also thankful for the people that thought her efforts would not have an impact and plans to use her passion, positivity and drive to promote sustainability.