Freshman student Riley Brooks has developed a passion for the environment, and combined her interest in global warming and fly fishing in a life changing trip to the Arctic over the summer.
Q: How did you first become interested in the concept of global warming?
A: To me, learning about climate change and global warming grasped my attention because learning how it a ects the environment we live in seemed very interesting. Also, since I enjoy y shing, I am in the environment a lot and get to see things up close.
Q: Have there been any specific role models that have encouraged or inspired you to be passionate about the issue?
A: There were no role models that really inspired me to become passionate about climate change, but along the way I met people who wanted to make a change as well who have made big marks on the world are now role model gures for me.
Q: Why did you go to the Arctic this summer; what did you hope to achieve?
A: I went to the Arctic with a nonprofit organization, Soul River, which is an organization that takes inner city youth and veterans who are struggling out on deployments to fly fish and to become educated on climate change and global warming. We rafted about 80 miles down the Ivishak River and we learned about climate change, conservation, and other thing like that.
Q: What experience had the biggest impact on you in the Arctic?
A: Being in the Arctic was a very impactful experience of course, but the most amazing thing was the way all 11 of us connected. We all came from different backgrounds and have di erent stories, but on the trip it seemed like we had known each other forever. We were able to teach each other what we know and listen as well, it was amazing.
Q: Do you have any goals of advocating for this issue or working more closely to end global warming in the future?
: I hope that with this experience and the knowledge I gained, I will be able to educate others and send a message that is powerful enough that causes us all to come together and make a change.
Q: If you are comfortable, is there any advice or a specific message from our firsthand experience you would like to share with the student body?
A: For the student body, the only message I would like for them to know is that change is great. Embrace the fact that we are all here and all have a purpose, and that we can do anything. We can all do things on our own, but having everyone’s knowledge and experience will make us go further.