Brooks Secondary School grade 11 student Samantha Savage has been accepted into an international youth experiential education program to Antarctica to learn about environmental issues and climate change.
The expedition takes place from December 27, 2013 to January 10, 2014 and accepts fewer than 100 students from around the world every year. To prepare, Samantha is on a mission to fundraise $15,000 for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“The program builds on the education and experience of individuals to help them lead in their respective fields as they go on into the world,” said Clare Glassco, manager of expedition programs and outreach with Students on Ice. “Our expedition selects students and leaders from around the world each year for these expeditions, and we are thrilled to have Samantha on board with us. Her leadership and experience is a perfect match to the work that we do. Samantha had a great application. The competition was extremely fierce.”
Students on Ice is a unique initiative dedicated to taking students on unique learning expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. The ship-based 2013 Antarctic Expedition employs modern icebreakers as a homebase. It is the only organization in the world that offers a two-week opportunity for students to be immersed in “hands-on” research activities and lectures, taught by polar experts, educators and researchers.
“The reason I’m interested in going to Antarctica for this kind of learning experience is because of my participation with Brooks’ Leadership Ecology Adventure Program [LEAP],” said Samantha. “My nine days of experiential outdoor learning taught me so much. While doing the LEAP program I met a student who had travelled to the Arctic with Students on Ice. Her stories and pictures inspired me.”
Samantha’s participation in the expedition depends on whether she can reach her fundraising goal. So far she has raised over $2,000 through her work at Staples.
“I am excited and inspired by the natural environment and think it is important for my generation to learn about sustainability and climate change,” she said. “I think that the hands-on learning of the expedition will teach me about world issues in a new and different way, and I want to be able to share what I learn with other students at my school and in the community when I get back. I plan to take lots of pictures, because Sony has generously donated a camera for me to use on my trip.”
Samantha has lived in Powell River for eight years. She has worked as a hockey referee, plays minor league hockey, and is in her second year of volunteering with the Powell River Health-Care Auxiliary as a Candy Striper.
Anyone wishing to donate to Samantha’s Antarctic Expedition fund can do so directly through the Internet. The Students on Ice Foundation is a registered Canadian charity, with a donation button on the left side of every page of its website. When donating it is important to specify that it is on behalf of Samantha. Students on Ice will provide a tax receipt for any amount over $100. Samantha will acknowledge all of her sponsors in the media and in presentations she does about her trip.