Student heads north to participate in Global Vision’s Arctic Youth Ambassador Forum

With the majority of the Canadian population residing near the United States border, one doesn't always think about how different the lifestyles are for those in the North.

Mila Huebsch, a 20-year old student, has been selected to be one out of 25 youth leaders to represent Southern Canada and their respective communities at the Arctic Youth Ambassador Forum in Iqaluit, Nunavut. From March 19-22 Huebsch will be discussing solutions to some of the challenges that the North faces such as food security, health care, the environment and education.

"I'm really looking forward to experiencing the culture of Canada's North," said Huebsch. "As an earth sciences student, I hope to learn more about how climate change is effecting Northerners, and find opportunities to share knowledge in Vancouver when I return home."

Huebsch, originally from Calgary, is currently in her third year studying geology. In addition to her role with Global Vision, she is involved with the G.M. Dawson Club and UBC's geology club -- where she is currently running for the position of president.

She first heard about Global Vision's initiatives through one of her good friends; she attended one of Global Vision's economic roundtables in Calgary, which helped her start her involvement with Global Vision.

"You have to do that as a stepping stone towards doing any of their other missions and projects," said Huebsch. "Going to the roundtable is like your interview to get to know you."

To attend the forum, Huebsch is responsible for raising $2,100, half of the costs associated with the trip, through corporate and community sponsorships. Global Vision covers the other half of the expenses. Huebsch was able to acquire funds from WestJet to cover flights to Ottawa, where the other participants will gather before heading up to Iqaluit, and from her father's company, which matches company donations in a one-to-one ratio to charitable organizations.

Huebsch is hoping to bring back awareness and knowledge about some of the issues in the North, including sustainability and how the differences in culture affect the approaches to finding solutions. She is keen on using social media as a tool to make new connections with the youth in the North and involve them in creating conversations to share their stories.

A key part of her experience is to identify areas for collaboration between organizations, educational institutions and businesses in Vancouver with the Northern communities.

This summer, Huebsch is hoping to attend the National Youth Ambassador Caucus (NYAC), also organized by Global Vision. This is in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Flag of Canada and to continue to brainstorm ideas for issues of national importance. Additionally, she wants to be part of the Parks Canada Youth Ambassador Program.