Aug. 9, 2010, Burlington, Ont. – Andrew Wong is an Ontario secondary school student who mobilizes his peers to achieve environmental goals. At school, he recognized that an abandoned greenhouse was an underutilized resource with great potential to educate students about plant science and horticulture. Instead of letting the thought pass, Wong’s curiosity led him on a journey that would turn this forgotten greenhouse into an important focal point at the school.
After completing an audit of the dilapidated greenhouse’s condition, Wong reached out to fellow members of the biology club and rallied them to join his cause. As treasurer of the Student Executive, Wong knew that the school’s tight budget could not finance this endeavour, so together with his small group of dedicated volunteers, he raised funds independently. They established the Greenhouse Horticultural Society and grew and sold geraniums annually, raising money to replace damaged greenhouse components. Today, the greenhouse is a hub for biological education enrichment and is an inspirational accomplishment for the students and faculty at the school.
Wong’s environmental contributions to his high school and community are numerous. As the president of the Environment team, Andrew is leading the development of his high school’s new recycling program. He is also the president of the Biology Club, school representative to the Burlington Green Environmental Youth Advisory Committee, and a volunteer with the Royal Botanical Gardens Bay Area Restoration Council. In addition, he authors the environmental blog “Million Green Lights”, www.milliongreenlights.blogspot.com.
|Andrew Wong, in the completely restored greenhouse in his Burlington, Ontario, high school. He led the fundraising effort.
For his efforts, Wong was named the national winner in this year’s Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program. He was selected from among 20 regional winners.
CULTIVATING TOMORROW'S ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERS
Every day, in communities across Canada, young people are actively demonstrating their passion for the environment through the important work they accomplish. These dedicated young Canadians are emerging as tomorrow’s environmental leaders and advocates.
Toyota Canada Inc. and Earth Day Canada established the Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program to help cultivate and nurture this environmental leadership. The Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program encourages and rewards graduating Canadian high school students who have distinguished themselves through environmental community service, extracurricular and volunteer activities, and academic excellence.
Environmental issues are increasingly being tackled through multidisciplinary approaches. Future environmental leaders will therefore come from a broad range of academic backgrounds which is why The Toyota Earth Day Scholarship is offered to students entering their first year of post-secondary studies in the discipline of their choice, to prepare themselves for the career of their choice.
The Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program grants 20 awards of $5,000 each annually, to be applied directly towards tuition, books, room and board (where applicable) or other educational expenses for the first year of post-secondary full-time studies in Canada.A national winner – selected from the 20 regional winners – is awarded the Toyota Earth Day Scholarship National Award and a Panasonic notebook computer at the National Award Ceremony.