Letters from Ocean Heroes
A Letter from Sukhraj Dhunna
December 1, 2020
To All Future Ocean Heroes,
Since planting my first tree on my elementary school’s grounds when I was in grade one, I have been passionate about protecting our planet’s ecological treasures. I often asked myself, how do my actions impact the planet and the environment around me? In January of 2019 listening to the news about climate change, reading environmental research articles about our contaminated oceans, and observing the polluted nature around me is what drew me to push for change that could positively impact our ever-growing society. Although, I did not know where to begin or how to tackle this issue in my community on my own.
After coming across Ocean Heroes Bootcamp and being connected with their programs over two years I was able to learn and be a part of a foundation that fosters and educates youth to become future environmental leaders in communities worldwide. Being engaged in OHBC I was able to participate in workshops that tackled topics such as ocean conservation, plastic pollution, environmental racism, and panels which included UN Goodwill Ambassadors. Even with the occurrence of the pandemic, OHBC gave me the tools, online resources, and confidence to have a voice and to make an impact in my community.
This network gave me the support and courage to connect with like-minded youth across the globe and to learn how to start effective campaigns. Their platform and connections with youth activities boosted my determination to better my community. OHBC has inspired me to take action to educate others about the importance of protecting our oceans and wildlife from harmful and damaging substances. Empowered and motivated to lead a movement of change, I pioneered my non-profit organization called Leaders Inspiring Neighboring Communities (LINC).
Through LINC’s strong exposure, youth all over Canada and the globe have rapidly grown interested in my organization. To build on the positive response, I used my skills learned from OHBC to organize a three-week leadership webinar called the LINC Ambassador program. With my team, I built various workshops, while also providing mentorship on how they can start initiatives and tackle issues that are negatively impacting their schools and communities by starting social and environmental initiatives. Within our programs, we focus on integrity, sparking confidence and increasing self-esteem, and giving members the courage and the opportunity to truly make a change in society.
This program was a huge success, as we now have established over 75 youth ambassadors globally, including ambassadors from countries like Algeria, Switzerland, Mexico, USA, Dubai, and India. Understanding that young people are the key to building strong and vibrant communities, I also initiated LINC Chapters. In this platform, individuals from other high schools create branches of LINC spreading my mission to more youth. LINC now has evolved and transformed youth into becoming more sustainable and environmentally conscious.
I urge each and every individual to be a part of OHBC as it will help open doors to a new, green and bright future for all.