#24 - NISHILA MEHTA
HOMETOWN: Mississauga, Ontario
Four years ago, Nishila embarked on a life-changing journey to Western Canada, where she witnessed the effects of climate Change first-hand. A park ranger described the rapid retreat of the Athabasca Glacier that gave her strong motivation to begin a journey as an environmentalist. It was a difficult start - she “struggled initially to see how someone like me could have any impact at all.” Nishila began to garden in her local community garden. She met youth with similar interests and decided that the best place to initiate change in society is to start with youth.
She joined a group called the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance as an executive member, and using the expertise of fellow executives and adult partners, Nishila spearheaded many campaigns. To teach youth about nature and the importance of planting, she hosted Stewardship Day, where youth planted over 2,000 trees. She also joined the University of Toronto’s Climate Impact Network to help bring environmental awareness to post-secondary schools. In her own school, she took what she learned to their Green Team, which earned a Silver EcoSchools award as a result. In recognition of my work, she was awarded the Green Change Champions award from EcoSource.
Nishila strongly believes that educating youth about environmental issues in a way that directly impacts them is the optimal way to inform others about current issues. As a result of this belief, she was one of the lead organizers of the EcoBuzz conference, an annual environmental conference for 400 middle school and high school students taking place in the Peel region. After the event, she was notified by school teachers that students had taken what they learned at EcoBuzz and applied it within their classes and school green teams.
Nishila is definitely a change maker in her community. She inspires and is inspired by youth, and is clearly passionate about giving them a voice. We look forward to follow her as she explores her passion.
The Starfish Canada's Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 Magazine showcases the 25 finalists from 2015 with longer articles, new pictures, and captivating stories from across Canada. All proceeds directly fund The Starfish Canada's programming to assist youth in understanding and amplifying the environmental issues they're most passionate about.