As a lifelong eco-enthusiast, Sariné Willis-O’Connor exemplifies the attributes of a dedicated environmentalist through her volunteer experiences and leadership qualities.
Since 2008, this McGill University student has acted as the Founder and Organization Coordinator of Greenpeace McGill, founding the first ever Greenpeace University division in Canada. While on board of this committee, Willis-O’Connor contributed her passion for the environment through many different avenues. She successfully passed a motion to sell only sustainable caught fish in the student cafeterias. She over saw all meetings with McGill students, McGill administration and Greenpeace Canada. She wrote policies for the club such as the constitution, motion regarding seafood on campus, and many more. On top of all of this, Willis-O’Connor has also initiated campaigns and panel discussions regarding issues such as Tar Sands and shale gas extraction.
What sets Willis-O’Connor apart is the vast amount of leadership conferences she attended, striving to make a difference for the environment on a provincial, national, and international level. In 2008, she attended the Quebec Student Sustainability Conference and presented on environmental issues in McGill residences and provided strategies to improve these circumstances. Also during this year, she was selected as one of three Canadian students to engage in an all-inclusive, 10 days intensive training program, Change it ’08, at Harvard University. In 2009, she was recognized as a global leader at the Leadership for Life! conference at McGill University, educating them on ways to become a global leader for the environment. Following this, she presented (in French) at the Colloques campus durables conference, informing them on ways to conserve energy every day.
Finally, in 2009 she participated at Powershift in Ottawa, Ontario, learning about climate issues and lobbied against the government to place more emphasis on climate policy.
Through these educational experiences, Willis-O’Connor takes with her this environmental background as she completes her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology with a minor in behavioral science and field studies. Because of her strong dedication and passion for the environment, we’re delighted to announce her as number fifteen on our list!