Sunset View on the 100-acre lake on Burlington Island
When asked, “what I have done for New Jersey Students Sustainability Coalition”? My response is, it is not what I have done for them, it is what they do for me! This Coalition of like-minded students has given me a platform to display my art on earth day as part of the NJSSC Earth Day Art Show. This was a privilege and an opportunity I was very grateful to have. Most recently there has been a mental health space created for students. Having such passion for the environment often leads to feeling discouraged, having anxiety, and becoming burned out. Together with this space, we will help each other by arranging involved and giving ideas that provide the opportunity for students to have a safe place to connect. We are planning to have weekly sessions, meditations, open topic discussions, movie nights, paint therapy, and possibly even monthly motivational guest speakers.
When I started my quest to save the whole world from pollution and plastic, I quickly realized it is something that I cannot do on my own. I needed help from everyone that lives here on this Earth! When I did a research paper on single-use plastic bags, it destroyed me, so when presented with the idea to create a mental health space for NJSSC, I was in! It makes perfect sense! When students like myself research all the harm that is done so carelessly by humans, not only does it hurt, but it has also mentally broken me down. Feeling defeated, I decided to accept the things I cannot change, and have the courage to change the things I can. So, I decided I cannot take the trash out of the ocean, but I can off Burlington Island. There is no other place other than nature for my mental health, and Burlington Island is untouched and protected nature. I was grateful when I was appointed Secretary for the Board of Island Managers. Through my loyal and proven dedication, I have the privilege to help with trail maintenance to improve safety on this beautiful Island. I hope to have students from the NJSSC, especially involved with the mental health space, come to Burlington Island. They would receive peace and serenity from the view of the 100 Acre Lake on the Island and see all the different plants and species in its natural habitat. It truly is a beautiful place.
I encourage students of NJSSC to check out the new mental health space we created, and I also encourage anyone to reach out to me to brainstorm ways we could offer sustainability education on Burlington Island. Go to the Board of Island Managers Website (https://www.burlingtonisland.org) to find out more or to get involved NOW become a member To Friends of Burlington Island. (http://www.friendsofburlingtonisland.org)
Aerial of Burlington Island With Bristol Borough on the left and the City of Burlington on the right