St. Anne’s School student Schemia Major is the winner of the 2021 Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) national competition and has earned the opportunity to represent The Bahamas in the 2022 Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) international YRE competition.
Her winning photo entry, titled, “Who said a Kalik bottle couldn’t be a plant pot?”, offers creative thinking to combat pollution and waste by reducing and reusing items that would otherwise be discarded and turning them into something purposeful.
Schemia, whose topic was pollution, will receive a GoPro HD camera by Bahamas Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (BREEF) to support her future environmental reporting.
Schemia said she’s motivated to protect nature because she would like to preserve the planet, not only for future generations, but for her to live in right now.
“This is my home, my environment, the place in which I live and I think that protecting and conserving it should be a priority of my everyday life,” said Schemia. “Protecting nature also gives me the opportunity to show others to do the same and try and educate them while doing so.”
Entries into the competition focused on various real-time issues such as food security in The Bahamas, single-use plastics, and pollution.
Windsor School’s Amy Dickson, 13, won second place for her photo entry focused on biodiversity loss.
Deep Creek Middle School’s Finley McKinney-Lambert, 11, was third with his photo entry that calls attention to marine debris and the continual harm it causes to precious coral reefs.
Allison Longley, BREEF YRE coordinator, said she was impressed with the variety of competition entries that were submitted from around the country that reflected the wide range of environmental issues that young people are concerned about.
“Young people are giving the natural world around them a ‘voice’ and are inspiring others to get involved,” said Longley.
The YRE program aims to empower students ages 11-25 to take a stand on environmental issues they feel strongly about. It gives them a platform to call attention to the issues through writing, photography, or video. There are more than 350,000 young reporters in 45 countries across the world.
BREEF is the National Operator for the Young Reporters for the Environment program, which is supported by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme. To learn more about the Young Reporters for the Environment program and how you can get involved, please visit www.breef.org.