Beehive 5 Under 25 Awardee | Aimee Urbina

30u30

Photo credit: Danni Washington. From left to right: Lucila, Connel, Ankita, Leandra, and Danni. https://naaee.org/.../ee-30-under-30-young-leaders-making


 

Congratulations to the 2018 Beehive 5 Under 25 Awardees!

USEE is pleased to announce the 2018 Awardees of the first annual Beehive 5 Under 25 recognition program! Modeled after NAAEE's 30 Under 30, the Utah Beehive 5 Under 25 program recognizes individuals, 25 years old or younger, who are game changers in their communities. These young people are taking on leadership positions to make a difference for the planet. They are engaging their communities, building relationships, and using the power of education to create change.

These youth are also recognizing the importance of diversity, inclusion, and equity and applying those principles to their work.

We asked our 2018 Beehive 5 Under 25 to answer the following questions:


 

Aimee Urbina, Ogden

Aimee Urbina Headshot

Tell us a bit about your professional and personal background. What is your current professional role, particularly as it relates to environmental education?

My name is Aimee Urbina. I'm a proud Xicana and daughter to immigrants. I'm a first generation student at Weber State University studying Political Science. I currently work at the Energy & Sustainability Office on campus and serve as the Vice President of Environmental Ambassadors, which is a student group that focuses on behavioral change and creating a greener culture on campus and in the community. Whether it's planting trees or trying to reduce emissions for healthier air quality, we try to engage students, faculty, staff, and community members in our environmental work and its importance to a sustainable future. Additionally, this past summer, I was able to participate in Sunrise Movement, which is a youth led movement aiming to bring climate change action to the forefront in our politics by focusing on five key states for the midterm election.

What inspired you to become a champion for the environment / environmental education? And/or what motivates you about the work you’re doing?

We've all heard of the impact climate change has had and will continue to have on future generations. From disastrous natural disasters, such as Hurricane Maria, which has taken the lives of over 1,000 individuals in Puerto Rico, to climate refugees and food insecurity. If these are the challenges I am seeing now, I can only imagine what my little four year old brother would be left with. I don't want his generation, along with those to come, to experience a world where uncertainty and degradation dominate, especially when I have the power to act. They deserve a healthy planet; with education and opportunity. The world is indeed a lot bigger than myself, and as long as there’s youth, my motivation in environmental education and action continues onward.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders that are looking to bring about positive change in their communities through EE?

1) You don't need to have knowledge on every single aspect of the environment. Everything is a learning process and you shouldn't feel discouraged when someone mentions a term, method, or even an organization that you don't understand or know of. As long as the passion is there, you are able to act, spread awareness, and encourage sustainable change in your community. 2) You are a superhero trying to save the world and it’s not always easy. At times it may leave you feeling drained and afraid. Regardless of this, know that every single act you are doing is valued. Believe in your potential, remind yourself that there’s others who are also trying to keep the momentum going, and continue to push forward. 3) Don’t forget to savor the world and enjoy yourself.

Who do you look up to as inspiration for your work? 

When I am looking for guidance or influence in the work that I am doing, I turn to my parents and am reminded of their childhood stories they used to tell my sister and me of their incredible work ethic and ability to lend a helping hand without needing affirmation or recognition from others. I'm even reminded of the countless times my parents would yell at my sister and me to turn off the water every time we brush our teeth, to turn off all the lights whenever they're not in use, save the sour cream jar so we can use it to store our salsas, and to make sure no food goes to waste by only eating what we can and saving the rest. Whether it was being frugal or environmental consciousness, they have implemented the importance of one action and the impact that can be achieved. This teaching continues to inspire me along with countless others.

If you could be any animal or plant, what would you be and why?

I am sincerely in love with dogs. I’ve had dogs my whole life growing up. In fact, I can’t remember a moment in which there was no family companion. My first dog was named Sol, and he was the most magnificent little chihuahua. He was obedient, fearless, a baby, and a protector. After he passed away, my dad consoled my sister and me all night as we sobbed into our pillows. They are by far the most precious creatures that I have been able to connect with, and if I had the chance to see what dog life is like by a dog’s perspective, I’d gladly accept.

TreePlanting  CommunityRebuilds  


Click here to return to see all the 2018 Utah Beehive 5 Under 25 Awardees.

 



This program was made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of:

quinney logo dkgreen 1    Quinney College of Natural Resources

Melissa & Trent Halvorsen

Jack Greene



Join us at the 2018 Utah Environmental Education Conference and hear about the great work these 5 individuals are doing during the Utah Beehive 5 Under 25 Panel, September 14, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Lowry at programs@usee.org. 

 

What is USEE?

The Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE), a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, has been a statewide leader in promoting high quality environmental education in Utah since 1981. USEE encourages environmental literacy by teaching Utahans how to think, not what to think, about the environment.

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