Cultivate 2023 – 2024

The Cultivate Mentorship program is back for another year!

What is Cultivate?

Cultivate is a mentorship program for high school students to create a sustainability-themed action project. The goal is to cultivate a deeper understanding of sustainability and its facets by helping youth bring their Ideas to life. Knowledgeable mentors will help participants shape their ideas and provide feedback along the way.

  • Create an Impactful Action Project
  • Earn Volunteer Hours
  • Connect With Experts in the Field
  • Celebrate Sustainable Action

Ideate. Create. Celebrate.


Meet the Cultivate mentors for 2024!

Alison Wood

A lifelong educator, her experience includes developing and teaching continuing education courses for BC paramedics, developing curriculum and courses for Sail Canada, and developing ski instructor programs for Mt. Seymour. Alison has a degree in Economics and a certificate in Adult Education.

A former competitive sailor and triathlete, Alison’s love of the ocean also includes kayaking, prone and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) racing.

“The inspiration for Ocean Ambassadors came while on my SUP board in Deep Cove. The incredible beauty of the ocean was regularly contrasted with garbage floating in the water. We need to inspire people to protect our oceans, and to do that we need to get people to the beach and onto the water to experience its magic.”

Ashton Kerr

Ashton is an environmental scientist and community organizer with a passion to inspire people to understand, appreciate and care for the environment. As Program Manager of Green Teams of Canada’s Lower Mainland Green Team, Ashton engages diverse communities in nature-based activities that connect people with each other and nature, enabling them to take care of themselves, others and the environment.

Ashton has a BSc in Environmental Sciences from UBC and a background in climate science and action, hydrology, waste reduction and more. In 2022, she was named one of The Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25.

Camille Huang

Hi there, I’m Camille! I came from a Fashion Design education background, where I learned about fast fashion and the ongoing sustainable issue in this industry. My careers later on allowed me to see the reality and functions within many industries. That’s when I began to realize that sustainability should be normalized everywhere. With a strong urge to be a responsible entrepreneur, I founded Eco Beige in 2021 in the hope to share a greener lifestyle with everyone.

Cam Lebeuf

My mission on this journey is to create a life for my family that is full of simple joys and lasting happiness. I want to constantly learn and teach others new ways to live more simply and sustainably. Bringing Bare to life is the evolution of many years in the packaging industry where I saw the harmful effects of our society’s consumerism on the environment. Arriving here is also the result of learning about the lack of ingredient regulation in the products we use daily. We are exposed to toxic ingredients constantly without being made aware and I hope to be a part in the change to a safe future for us all.

Cara Laudon

I am a grade 4/5 classroom teacher at šxʷwəq̓ʷəθət/Crosstown Elementary.

I am passionate about nature and place-based experiential learning and committed to reconciliation in education. I am actively working to decolonize education by taking learning outside as often as possible. I believe all students have the right to learn from, with and for the natural world. I have been involved in student activism for a sustainable planet since I began teaching in 2016. I believe in the collective wisdom of our community and have an abundance of hope for the future.

Emily Červenka

Emily Červenka is a dedicated advocate for environmental sustainability and has pursued this passion in many different ways throughout her life. She holds a Master’s degree in Molecular Biology, where she used bacteria to make bioplastic out of carbon dioxide in an effort to help fight the plastics crisis. While in university, she co-founded grassroots youth climate organization Kingston Youth Climate Action that successfully improved the city of Kingstons’s decarbonization goals. Today, she works as a junior researcher at a consulting firm that works with Indigenous groups to problem-solve and negotiate for better agreements with governments and industry. In her spare time she likes taking photos, cycling, and climbing.

Jacob Schwartz

Since beginning work as a deep-green HVAC engineer in 2021, Jacob has designed district energy heating systems, a residential ocean-source heating system, and furthered industry knowledge of embodied carbon. He supports decolonization, reconciliation with indigenous communities, and radical action to address the climate crisis. In his spare time Jacob enjoys playing music with friends, biking through the city, hiking in the mountains, reading, and gardening.

Jerry Achar

I am passionate about research entwining chemical exposure, the human health impact of chemicals, sustainable chemical risk assessment approaches, and chemical regulation. My current research focuses on the use of scientific methods that do not use animals to predict the risk of chemical compounds – i.e., alternative to animal testing approaches. Specifically, I focus on one of the approaches – computational in silico toxicology methods. Within the in silico toxicology methods, I also analyze uncertainty in their application for chemical risk assessment.

Kshamta Hunter 

Kshamta Hunter brings over a decade of experience in sustainability learning and teaching, curriculum design and program management. She holds a PhD in sustainability curriculum and pedagogy, and teaches in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Kshamta’s research explores the intersections of sustainability learning and leadership, using Transformative Learning and social innovation frameworks. She is interested in designing responsive and relevant integrative curriculum and pedagogical approaches for the 21st century, through understanding the development of competencies for innovation toward sustainability. She is the Manager of Transformative Learning & Student Engagement with the UBC Sustainability Hub, where she is able to shape a lot of her research ideas into practice. She is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, the co-chair of publications for the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies and member of the editorial advisory board for the Journal of the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies. She is the recipient of the 2023 President’s Service Award for Excellence.

Paige Hunter

Paige Hunter is a climate activist with experience in both the academic and public sector. Paige’s passion for accessible climate education led her to join SFU350, a student-led climate activism group, where she developed programs for SFU students, staff, and faculty while successfully campaigning for fossil fuel divestment. Paige’s research includes the intersection of climate justice and nature-based solutions to climate change, wildfire recovery, and youth engagement. In 2022 she was one of SFU’s student delegates to COP27. Paige has worked on climate resilience with the BC Ministry of Forests and ecological conservation with the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces. She is currently a Researcher Analyst at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) working on youth engagement. She is the co-founder of the Sword Fern Collective, a hope-centred climate change education group.

Sonya Chatterjee

Sonya Chatterjee is a youth climate justice organizer. She is a Bengali settler on the unceded and stolen Musqueam lands, and is studying Anthropology at UBC. She primarily organizes with the youth climate justice groups – Sustainabiliteens and Climate Recentered, as well as various Social Justice groups at UBC. She is passionate about intersectional climate and social justice, through a lens striving for community care and restorative justice. She is specifically interested in the interconnections the climate justice movement holds with BIPOC individuals and communities – and upholding their practices of sustainability and justice as core beliefs. Outside of organizing, she enjoys baking, reading and creating art!