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Tiya and Nolan - UBC Sustainability Ambassadors

We are sustainability ambassadors who are currently partnering with the Dunbar Residents Association this year to create a youth engagement strategic plan. We are trying to collect information to create a plan for the Dunbar neighbourhood, dealing with issues such as social isolation, food insecurity, and the relationships between youth students and permanent residents who live in these neighbourhoods. Like, there are permanent residents who feel there's a disconnection between permanent residents and students living here, so we're just trying to find the different ways we can bring those two parts of the community together.

It's really exciting to see a different side of sustainability where you get to work with the community and actually engage with real people and really make a difference. It's different than just climate justice, which is the typical understanding of sustainability and what I thought I was gonna do, but this has actually been really fun.

In addition to working with the Dunbar Residents Association to actually create this plan, we also get to learn a whole bunch of different things regarding sustainability and other topics. We get to attend workshops and recently, we did a decolonization walk and got to look at all these art pieces across the UBC campus that were created by Indigenous artists. It's just really nice to see sustainability from multiple different lenses, thinking about communities and working with marginalized groups, uplifting their voices and ensuring that they’re heard.

Being a sustainability ambassador has given us skills, skills that we wouldn't otherwise be able to acquire even in university classes. It's very unique what we get to do. Also, since the program is interdisciplinary and different faculties come together to work, we learn from one another. Overall, UBC just offers so much out of classroom experiences and so many areas to study that you can't compare it to any other school. That’s why we came here.


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