Union Gas Essay Scholarship Sarah Yeo

Sarah Yeo sees education as the best way to prepare for the coming changes in green technology.

As more innovation focuses on incorporating solar, wind and hydro, the St. Ignatious High School Student in Thunder Bay sees the classroom as the first place where that transition can be made so everyone understands why.

She sees demand for energy rising as society progresses and that will require many forms to keep up with demand. While coal, oil and gas are popular now, the environmental impacts are becoming more prevalent. This is where education comes into play in teaching others that there are other ways to harness and distribute energy from clean and renewable sources.

“What inspired me to write on this topic was my concern for the environment,” she said. “I live in northwestern Ontario where I am surrounded by nature and can enjoy the outdoors all year long. For this reason, I feel a true connection to the environment and want to ensure that I do my part for a sustainable future, and I hope to educate others to do the same now and in the future. I believe it is not only important to make the public aware, but also educate our students with environmental knowledge and know-how in order to be pivotal in shaping the future of communities, our own province, our country and our global environment.”

Living so close to nature made her understand humans have a close interrelationship with it. As nations develop, it is becoming clearer the previous methods of resource extraction and energy consumption can no longer sustain it. New methods must be found and determining those starts with the education system.

Public awareness and education are directly linked to education. So influences on the educational system are becoming more important, she wrote.

Quoting the Stern Review on climate change, she highlighted “educating those currently at school about climate change will help shape and sustain future policy- makers in taking action now.”

Having environmental knowledge, like she does, will help people shape the future of communities, the province, country and global environment.

Education will help people understand how to not only create greener sources of energy, but to use it more efficiently as well. This will help make others understand how human behaviour affects the environment and understand the complexity of the challenges to take appropriate action.

Going forward, Yeo is staying close to home, choosing medicine as her future career, adding it was a difficult decision.

“I will be studying Applied Life Sciences at Lakehead University this upcoming fall in my hometown, Thunder Bay. I have always dreamed of becoming a doctor ever since I was young, so I hope to further my studies and get accepted into the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, here in my hometown.”