The 2021 Gordon Smith Youth Environmental Stewardship Award winner is…. Berntina Hambly
Berntina Hambly, from Centennial Secondary’s Environmental Studies Academy was nominated by her teacher, Hayley Melvin, for her commitment to and passion to advocate both for her fellow students and for the natural world: “I truly believe she is going to make a great positive impact in environmental education.”
Berntina’s nomination and award are well earned; Berntina is a hardworking, active campaigner for stewardship and sustainability with ample experience as a Young Environmental Steward.
As a member of climate change club, she worked to plant trees, participated shoreline clean ups, tended a community garden, and undertook stewardship and restoration efforts.
As a leader of the Salmon Club at her school, Berntina cared for and protected local salmon populations, working at a hatchery alongside staff and members of the DFO. She volunteered to organize and facilitate many events and hands-on-activities at both Mossom Creek Fish Hatchery, and Hyde Creek Hatchery, where she worked teaching children, the public, and her peers about salmon life cycles and the importance of salmon in our ecosystem. Her efforts have had a huge impact, spreading awareness and educating community members on the importance of salmon.
Working through the difficult conditions of completing her senior year of high school during the height of a global pandemic, Berntina continued to work to keep her local Salmon Club and other sustainability activities going. Her dedication and hard work are evident in everything she does.
Berntina’s future is bright. She plans to follow her passion for research and teaching into a career in the sciences, particularly biology and environmental science. This fall she embarks on a new step in her journey as she begins post-secondary Biology studies. As Diether Malakoff, of the Coquitlam Teachers’ Association and sponsor of the Salmon Club explains, “Berntina will be contributing to her community and making the world a better place for years to come. [We] look forward to hearing of the great things that Berntina will do in the future.”