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SOI Alumna Bridget Graham reflects on her time with SOI

By on 2014/07/22

SOI Team at 2014 Toronto FundraiserBridget Graham is an invaluable part of the SOI team as an alumna with an ability to connect with individuals from every walk of life, to her most recent position as Expedition Intern. Bridget, like many of our alumni, completed her Students on Ice (SOI) expedition forever changed. Ready to make a difference. Ready to give back. This summer SOI has been incredibly fortunate to work with Bridget and benefit from her dedication, passion and hard work to help make the Arctic 2014 expedition one of the best yet!  We asked Bridget to share her experience with us and particularly, the soon to be Students on Ice alumni…

In a way Students on Ice has made me the person I am today. Without having been chosen from within a stack of applications in the spring of 2011, I would not be sitting here reflecting on the past three years of my life. I can honestly say that I have never been as happy as I was during my Expedition to Iceland, Greenland, Nunavik and Labrador. Never had I been exposed to such stimulating landscapes, and interesting people who all seemed to be pursuing their passions. Each of them had some sort of direct or indirect link to the Arctic, and by some twist of fate I had been invited to join them.

Last week I was asked to address this year’s group of students, who had each warmed my heart in some way, and I was reminded of the excitement and nervousness I had once felt. I’d been communicating with them for months, and when they arrived I felt as though I already knew them. As they sat there preparing themselves for the adventure that awaited them, I felt as though I needed to urge them to enjoy every moment, and to let this experience change them as it had me. Although I may never achieve great fortune or fame, for as long as I remain involved with Students on Ice I am positive that I will be surrounded by family, mentors, love and support. Students on Ice is so much more than student expeditions, for those only take place for a couple of weeks a year. It’s the preparation, the lead up, the fundraisers, the student inquiries, the inventory, the printing, the passports, and every other logistical detail in between. I can say with certainty that this job has been the most challenging, but also the most rewarding position I’ve ever had. From what I have been able to observe when Expedition comes around, our lives all seem to be put on hold. We spend long hours at the office, our caffeine consumption increases, and our relationships and other engagements cease to exist. And do you know what, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

309361_10150265933716331_5484564_n-2Since my Expedition is 2011, I have been pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax. I have been able to incorporate my passion for the Polar Regions into my degree, and next April I will graduate with combined honours in Sustainability and Canadian Studies. Somewhere down the road I hope to attend the Irish School of Ecumenics in order to study Peace and Reconciliation at the Graduate level. For the past year I have been learning about the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and I’ve come to observe the lack of reconciliation process in Canada. This is something that one day I hope to help remediate.

Without the impact and influence of Students on Ice I would not have traveled to Brazil for the Rio+20 Earth Summit in June of 2012. I would not have been able to foster relationships with individuals from all over the world, and from each and every walk of life. I would not have lived in a tent in the small Inuit community of Pangnirtung last summer either, but I do believe that my greatest achievement however was when I became one of the first stowaways that Students on Ice has ever had.

By taking this position, the Expedition Intern, I told myself that I would be giving back to the organization that had given so much to me. I’d be learning the structures of what makes it such a huge success and I would work alongside those that give all that they have. I continue to be grateful for the experience that I was given, and with that I am reminded that I deserve only the best. This job and this network of people constantly push me beyond my limits, and encourage me to do better. So a big thank you to each and every one of you that I have come in contact with. You have influenced me more than you will ever know.

 

 

Photo (c) Todd V Wolfson

Q&A with Acclaimed Singer-Songwriter, Kathleen Edwards

By on 2014/07/15

Kathleen Edwards is phenomenal Canadian singer and songwriter who has received several Juno nominations, and has been short-listed for Polaris Music Prize. SOI is fortunate enough to have Kathleen join the Arctic 2014 expedition to teach music workshops and offer guidance on

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Q&A with Sue Novotny of the WWF Arctic Programme

By on 2014/07/11

Almost every year the WWF teams up with SOI to help inspire youth by sending students from northern Canada and Greenland, along with a WWF staff member onboard the annual Arctic expedition. We chatted with Sue Novotny. She’s been working

Photo (c) Lee Narraway

SOI Launches 2014 Arctic Expedition

By on 2014/07/09

Today, high school students from across Canada and around the world come together in Ottawa to start two weeks of discovery and learning on an ambitious expedition exploring the eastern Canadian Arctic and western Greenland. Students on Ice’s 2014 Arctic Expedition

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Q&A with Adventure Photographer Lee Narraway

By on 2014/07/09

Lee Narraway is an incredible photographer who has been an integral part of the Students on Ice family for a decade. Since 2004, Lee  has beautifully captured the magic of the ‘greatest classrooms on earth’ along with the remarkable people

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Q&A with Musician & SOI expeditioner Ian Tamblyn

By on 2014/07/07

Ian Tamblyn is a Juno award-winning folk singer and songwriter, polar explorer and dedicated SOI educator who has helped shape lives through his popular music workshops on SOI expeditions for years. In addition to his musical talents, Ian has a

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A Letter to Alumni: The Taxi Cab to Indifference

By on 2014/07/07

SOI Alumnus Donovan Taplin participated in both SOI’s Arctic and Antarctic Expeditions, experiences that forever changed Donovan’s view of the world and inspired him to make a difference in his community through the power of storytelling. Donovan submitted the following

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Q&A with polar guide Alex Taylor

By on 2014/07/06

Alex Taylor is one of SOI’s integral expedition team members. He sets up the communication system, he drives zodiacs, captures incredible video footage, and so much more. He has also explored the Polar Regions for more than 20 years, and

Bianca Perren with a student during the Arctic 2013 expedition, photo (c) Martin Lipman

SOI Educator Q&A with Bianca Perren

By on 2014/07/04

This summer Bianca Perren will join SOI for her third expedition. She is both a painter and a paleoecologist, brimming with knowledge on Arctic ecology, more specifically the effects of climate change on the Arctic. We asked Bianca to share some of

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SOI Alumna Wins Top 20 Under 20

By on 2014/06/27

Selin Jessa joined SOI on the 2011 Antarctic expedition. Since then she’s planned the first TEDx Talk in Antarctica, placed fourth in the International BioGENEius Challenge science competition, and most recently, she’s been named one of the Top 20 Under 20.

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