This is Qurat Dar.
Qurat is a Conservation Hero for engaging youth to improve wildlife habitat and biodiversity in Mississauga.
Qurat has donated countless hours as a volunteer with Credit Valley Conservation, City of Mississauga’s Environmental Division, the Conservation Youth Corps and the Ink Movement. Qurat is an executive member of the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA) planning youth conferences such as EcoBuzz, and she re-founded and was president of her highschool’s green team, which campaigns and develops school-wide initiatives.
Qurat spent the summer of 2016 as a Conservation Youth Corps Program Assistant at Credit Valley Conservation. In the past she was a participant of both CYC Summer program and Frontline Program. While in the Frontline Program she spent time doing presentations and speeches to raise awareness for environmental conservation in her high school and showed her peers how they can volunteer to make a difference in the environment.
In 2016 Qurat was awarded a ‘Friends of the Credit Award’ and is recognized as one of Canada’s top 25 environmentalists under 25.
From a very young age, Qurat actively sought out nature, playing with butterflies and ducks at her local creek. As her love for nature developed, she began volunteering at a community garden. Her early connection with the environment and other like-minded people helped her recognize the value of sustainability as a child and become the teenage environmentalist she is today.
In grade nine and ten, Qurat was an active member of her high school’s green team. When she returned to school in grade eleven, she discovered that the group had dissolved. Qurat decided she must take action to bring students together through sustainable movements.
The green team’s initiatives include litter pickups, tree plantings, working in the community garden of a local women’s housing unit, beautification of the school and creating a habitat garden on school grounds. The green team also raises awareness for local environmental issues by running various campaigns throughout the school year, especially during Earth Week.
At the beginning of her grade twelve year, she and a teacher supervisor were able to re-establish the green team, promoting environmental initiatives such as a nearby community garden and greening projects. The team also connects students together to converse over what environmentalism really means.
Qurat has a unique ability to bring her peers together through her humour — a powerful method for positive social change. Her optimism, open-mindedness, leadership and organizational skills have been invaluable in each project she has been involved in.
As an executive member of the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA) in the Region of Peel, Qurat was involved in planning the EcoBuzz conference. PEYA runs events throughout the school year, connects environmentally minded students and offers support to students wanting to take environmental action at their schools. The EcoBuzz conference is for middle and secondary students and their teachers to explore environmental issues and become inspired to take action.
Qurat has clearly demonstrated her leadership by successfully uniting youth on the environmental front. It’s her positive attitude and passion for the local environment that inspires her peers to join in the action towards a healthy environment.
In September of 2016 Qurat began her studies in environmental engineering at the University of Guelph and plans to continue to be a mentor for young environmental activists. She appreciates the support her parents have shown of her volunteering commitments. She is also thankful for the people that thought her efforts would not have an impact and plans to use her passion, positivity and drive to promote sustainability.
We need heroes like Qurat and we need heroes like you!
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