The Canadian (Green) Dream – and winner of our day pack contest

November 21, 2019

Shahid Akhtar enjoying the great Canadian outdoors.

Shahid’s extroverted and warm personality shines through our phone conversation as he introduces himself. Originally from India, Shahid moved to Brampton, Ontario, two years ago with the goal of one day working in Canada’s green economy.

“After moving to Canada, I wanted to continue my passion for the environment and went to school to be an environmental technician,” Shahid recounts. Through his education at St. Lawrence College, Shahid was able to gain practical skills and knowledge in the environmental field, taking every opportunity he had to volunteer, meet new friends, and connect with his professors to gain field-work experience.

“It can be challenging for newcomer youth because we lack the experience and connections that our peers have. So, I made it my goal to spend time with Canadian students and professors to learn how the system worked.”

It was through his extracurricular activities and initiative that Shahid became more aware of environmental topics that interest him, from air pollution to waste-water treatment and silviculture.

“It will take longer for a newcomer to start working, but by learning about issues that matter to you, volunteering and talking to your professors, it can help build confidence and fuel energy for your passion,” Shahid shares.

His main inspiration for studying environmental technology and caring for the environment is his mother. “My mother was an environmental studies teacher back in India, and I learned a lot of things from her. She motivated me to not only do my best, but to also take care of our environment, and so I do this by working in a field that will make her and my family proud.”

Shahid is excited to learn more about green job opportunities. He completed our Mentorship Youth Survey (the survey is now closed) because he believes that having someone guide him through networking and volunteer opportunities will help him in advance in his career. Thanks to his submission, Shahid’s name was drawn at random and he won the Zomake packable day pack prize.

Shahid is the winner of PLT Canada’s Zomake packable day pack.

Do you know an employer around Brampton or Barry, Ontario, who could benefit from Shahid’s passion for the environment and education in environmental technology? Send us an email and we will put you in touch!

Funded by the Government of Canada, PLT Canada offers a 50% wage match to employers who hire youth aged 15-30 into Green Jobs. View our Green Jobs page for more info.

About PLT Canada’s Mentorship Program

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well, I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington

At PLT Canada, we want to create a mentorship program that connects our diverse group of incredible youth to our strong network of employers across Canada. We know that the world of employment can seem vast and sometimes daunting, so aligning oneself with someone who can help is invaluable.

For our mentors, this will be an opportunity to help shape the future of our industry and to share their skills, knowledge and expertise. It will be a chance for them to stay fresh and exchange new ideas about our changing world.

For our mentees, our program will be an excellent opportunity to make professional connections and expand their knowledge and understanding in a field of interest to them. Participating in our mentorship program will help them overcome barriers to entering the field of forestry, parks or recreation, and support their long-term career development.


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