If you were look up “go-getter” in the dictionary – and if they put pictures of people next to words that describe then – you would almost certainly find a photo of our number eleven environmentalist, Aliya Dossa, smiling back at you. When this enterprising teenager sees an environmental injustice taking place, you don’t want to be standing between her and the solution. Not only is she the co-founder of a growing, nation-wide conservation effort (Youth4Tap), this is also her second appearance in our Top 25. And all before her 20th birthday.
Most first-year university students are busy enough trying to find classes, find money for KD, and trying to think of excuses not to go to their classes, Aliya puts them all to shame. Since starting at UBC last fall on route to becoming either an environmental economist or an environmental lawyer, she has made a name for herself around campus when it comes to sustainability.
Serving on the UBC Sustainability in Residence Committee and helping to spearhead the Bottled Water-Free UBC Campaign, she is not only doing her best to exemplify green-living, but she is helping to make environmentalism accessible to her fellow-students.
Aliya has even managed to make sustainability a social affair by helping to organize monthly Sustainability Coffee House events at UBC. Students show up with their own coffee mugs and enjoy hot drinks and live music, all while taking part in a clothing swap. So not only do these events promote sustainability, they help students save money and stay stylish. What’s not to like?
All of this is on top of the initiative that landed her on The Starfish’s Top 25 Under 25 list back in 2011. The Youth4Tap movement aims to encourage the use of tap water over bottled water and has grown outward from its roots in BC to take hold in Calgary and Toronto. As a co-founder of Youth4Tap, Aliya has been a major factor in its growth with interest growing enormously following her TEDxKidsBC talk in 2012.
The list of accomplishments goes on and on. Aliya recently gave the keynote speech at the Cowichan Valley Leaders of Tomorrow Awards Ceremony; she will be speaking at the upcoming, province-wide Volunteer BC conference; and she was a finalist in Canada’s Top 20 Under 20.
We at The Starfish can’t wait to see what this top young environmentalist will do next.