Many students who approach graduation show an interest in having an adventure or doing something unique. Exploring our vast world and experiencing new places is what the average student says he or she wants to do after graduating. The Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP) is available to anyone over eighteen and living in British Columbia. The program is an amazing opportunity for young people to become involved in making an environmental change in their community and have an adventure at the same time.

Megan Rempel, an alumna from Riverside in 2013, began her journey down the Fraser in July 2016 when she travelled by water from Mount Robson to Jericho Beach and re-connected with nature. The journey allowed her to experience new environments and make connections to the breathtaking scenery, from ancient rainforests, deserts, and grasslands, to sage brush and floodplain.

 The dynamic program allowed for Rempel to gain skills and confidence to make a difference in her community. The sustainable project that she created during her trip dealt with the issues of cigarette waste, and ways to recycle the waste. “On the first morning, I woke up surrounded by small tents filled with people who soon became family, posted in a campground near the border of Alberta. I could feel the beginning of my spiritual awakening. I am grateful for the SLLP program, I have never felt stronger than when I was on the river. Individuals from the group contributed to one another’s determination to make a change, but the person I connected the most with was myself,” said Rempel.

The program emphasizes building leadership skills while members design their own sustainable project that will be implemented within their community. Members study the environment around them while learning how they can work together to bring their sustainable projects to life. Community leaders share their knowledge and experiences to inspire members, and allow for them to take their spiritual journey. Every year a new group of people gets accepted into SLLP program, and travels down the Fraser River for a total of 1,400 kilometres and through ten of B.C.’s fourteen biogeoclimatic zones. This is an amazing opportunity for people who are graduating and want an adventure and to experience what it’s like to connect to the environment around them, while raising awareness about the environment.