By Hadley Hiebert, Colorado Mountain College student
This year I served as the student intern for the Youth Water Leadership Program where I had the opportunity to help organize the 2019 Healthy Rivers Youth Water Summit. During this internship, I had the opportunity to have experiences that will benefit me for future jobs that I have not had during my schooling. Organizing and contacting people was one of the primary tasks of the semester internship. Through this process of coordinating people, I acquired skills that I can take into any field I go into, and I think will benefit me in the future. Learning how to organize people and events through spreadsheets is a tool I never thought I would need to use. I was sorely mistaken when I found out that was the most efficient way of organizing large quantities of information.
The unique part about this Youth Water Summit is allowing students to express their authentic water quality and watershed concerns and issues. The Youth Water Leadership Program gives them the opportunity to become more aware of local community issues and also learn to express their opinions on the matter. Learning about these issues now will help them be well-educated voters in the future and hopefully drive a passion that will help them pursue a career that will allow them to better their communities.
Personally, I presented my research regarding how the current (2019) administration’s rollback on the Clean Water Act’s Clean Water Rule would affect riparian zones and wetlands. It was a unique experience sharing my research and my project with more people than just my classmates and my teachers. It was a call to action to voters, future voters, and Government bodies to take a stand and protect some of the most vital ecosystems of our watersheds. This experience made me feel like I really had a voice and I hope made others feel the same way.
Hadley Hiebert is a senior at Colorado Mountain College at Spring Valley and plans to graduate with a B.A. Sustainability Studies in May 2020. She is a member of the campus Sustainability Club and also part of the theater program.
Thank to Rios to Rivers for cover photo by Weston Boyles