#8 - VERONIKA BYLICKI
HOMETOWN: Vancouver, British Columbia
Although Veronika grew up with parents that inspired her to appreciate the outdoors, she remembers a pivotal time where her journey into sustainability and conservation began.
In the tenth grade, she attended the TREK Outdoor Education Program, where half of her school year focused on sustainability through nature - rock climbing, kayaking, and the like. After being exposed to this work, it unfolded into a personal, volunteer, academic, and professional commitment.
Veronika is the Director of Common Energy, where her leadership skills shine. It's in this role where she oversees UBC's largest and most active student-run sustainability organization, growing it to 120 active student member volunteers. To complete this work, she coordinates a group of 12 executive members that builds community within the organization. Through their work, the team has directly engaged approximately 4,000 students through events, initiatives and innovative programming.
As a student, she is actively learning about how to create change on multiple scales. The leadership qualities she naturally possesses have led her to organize UBC's first student-run waste audit last year, which became one of the largest waste audits in Canadian history. She managed a team of 40 volunteers to make this happen. The event's goal was to collect data, but they completed the task in a public space to engage students walking by and make them think about their waste in a creative (and smelly) way.
This work goes beyond “the office” for Veronika. It's evident to us that she exudes passion for the outdoors and caring for the places and spaces we enjoy. In the future, she hopes to work with regional and municipal governments to assist in creating innovative methods for behavioural change. We wish her success in her future endeavours.
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.