H2O for Life Director of Finance/Volunteer Coordinator, Carol Collins, recently sat down to chat with Emily Onufer. Emily is interning with H2O for Life this summer, she is currently writing curriculum focusing on local water issues.
Carol: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Emily: I’m originally from New York. I go to school in Richmond, VA at the University of Richmond, where I am currently in the Bonner Scholar program. My family moved to Marine, Minnesota last August which is why I looked for an internship in Minnesota. In the summer when I am not working, I like to go horseback riding – I train horses to jump on weekends. I also am an avid reader. I usually alternate between a non-fiction and fiction book. Currently my non-fictions reads concern the environment and climate change. My last favorite fiction was “Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.
Carol: What made you pick Environmental Studies as a Major?
Emily: Growing up, I always had to be outside. I loved finding and collecting bugs and all sorts of things. Right now there seems to be so many critical issues concerning the environment and I want to do my part to help protect and help our Earth so kids can do the same things I did growing up. And I want them to learn to protect the environment too.
Carol: Why are you interested in H2O for Life?
Emily: One of my first classes at the University of Richmond was: “Water: Economics, Politics and Policy” where we studied water issues in depth. Through this course, I became very interested in water topics. What attracted me to H2O for Life was not only the water issue but also the Service-Learning aspect which is also a big part of the Bonner Scholar program.
Carol: Working at H2O for Life, what have you been doing so far?
Emily: I have been writing curriculum for K-12 focusing on local issues – things like charting water usage, checking for leaks and activities for kids to better understand local water problems and concerns.
Carol: What has been the most surprising thing you have learned so far?
Emily: Visiting several local schools and seeing how super-interested, super-invested the students are. I went to a couple of End of the Year Celebrations for Schools and a WaterFair. It was fun to see that kids were really involved!
Carol: What will you tell others about H2O for Life?
Emily: I will tell them about the great Service-Learning Curriculum and how well it works for kids of all ages – even the younger ones! It’s an amazing component to H2O!
Carol: Along the same line, what should everyone know about H2O for Life?
Emily: Everyone should have a greater understanding of what H2O for Life does and the impact it has. It’s not just about having clean, safe drinking water – Sanitation is important too and especially how it affects women and girls. H2O for Life tackles it all! Everyone should take the time to learn about the importance of water. We should all read, learn and understand the global water crisis. That’s how we make changes in the world!