From Fear of Canoes to Engineering Dreams: VeAndre's Story

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Friday, 08 November 2013
From Fear of Canoes to Engineering Dreams: VeAndre's Story

Thirteen year-old VeAndre chuckles as he recalls his first experience at the Urban Ecology Center so many years ago. “I remember I was 7 years old and scared to go out on the canoe because I thought I’d fall in the water or something,” VeAndre reflects. Now, six years later, he proudly states that he loves canoeing and being active outdoors. Enthusiastically participating in programs at the Urban Ecology Center’s Washington Park branch has allowed VeAndre to explore his passions and grow both professionally and personally.

Starting out in the Young Scientists Club gave VeAndre exposure to the outdoors through numerous Saturday field trips to parks, where he and others go hiking, ice skating, fishing and sledding.

Now at age 13, VeAndre has willingly taken on more responsibility by volunteering at the Center. He helps engage other kids in cooking classes, assists on field trips, and helps feed and care for the animals in the Native Wisconsin Animal Room at the Washington Park branch.

As VeAndre’s responsibilities increase at the Center, so does his dedication. He plans to apply for the High School Outdoor Leader internship so he can continue to build professional skills like leadership, mentoring, public speaking, and conducting scientific research.

VeAndre already knows that he’d like to use these skills and incorporate his interest of science by continuing his education in college to obtain an engineering degree.

While VeAndre’s interaction at the Urban Ecology Center has certainly broadened his experiences, it has also allowed him to grow personally. VeAndre reflects, “As a person, I’ve matured a lot over the years. I’ve learned how to respect my elders and others, and to treat the earth and animals respectfully. Without the Urban Ecology Center’s support, I wouldn’t be the person I am today!”

VeAndre has thrived at the Urban Ecology Center through fun outdoor activities and increased levels of responsibility that have impacted his outlook on life and future career path.

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