Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Interview by:Becca Orleans
Aliya attended Oberlin High School. She spent a summer working for the Aspiring Ninde Scholars Summer Program as a Summer Fellow. As a Fellow, Aliya acted as a role model for the younger Ninde Scholars in facilitating discussion and keeping a positive attitude.
Q: How long have you been in Oberlin?
A: Ive lived in Oberlin since 3rd grade and Ive been here ever since. Just last November moved to Elyria, but I still attend Oberlin and I like it. I like Oberlin so I didnt want to trade schools.
I never think bad things, its always positive words and vibes when I think of Oberlin. When Im here, I feel accepted.
Q: What do you like about Oberlins schools?
A: The diversity and the relationships. Its like were a whole and nobodys separated from one another or feels differently or is treated differently. We all come together and always have each others backs, like a big family. Theres so much culture and stuff behind it and history.
Q: When you think of Oberlin is there a word or image thats come to mind?
A: What comes to mind is that picture of the earth and theres a bunch of different kids holding hands around it. I never think bad things; its always positive words and vibes when I think of Oberlin. When Im here, I feel accepted.
Q: So weve been talking a little bit about sustainability and all the things that can mean. What is the definition that feels most true to you? What does sustainability mean to you?
A: To me, its taking care, coming as one or being that one voice that makes a change. Really thinking about the environment that we live in and the world we live in, and how one voice can make that change. So I think sustainability is just making sure youre healthy and the world around you is healthy. Just being aware of all the things that we do because it is going to affect us and we want a good environment around us.
Q: What actions are you engaged in day to day that you see as being related to sustainability?
A: Turning off the TV before I go to sleep instead of leaving it on, or during the daytime not turning on lights because theres the natural sunlight. Making sure that we are recycling, we just started that in my house and so now if I open the trash can and theres a milk jug in there Ill put it in the recycling bin. Im just more aware of how much we use and how we could cut down on that. Picking up trash thats in the yard or something, just trying to keep things green around us. Its like taking care of not just my yard area, but at school when you see something on the ground pick it up and just clean that part because one person can make that change.
Q: So maybe sustainability is something youre always doing with other people around, its always affected by and affecting other people?
A: And I feel like Oberlin does a good job of embracing that and just being aware of everything. Because I used to not be aware of it, but the more it was brought up on the Dashboard and all that it made me more like Oh, maybe this is an issue, maybe we can do something. Now that it's brought to my attention, I notice it more.
Q: Are there places in Oberlin that feel restoring that feel like they give you the energy to do those things?
A: This building [the AJLC]. I noticed it more today when we were in our groups and we were talking about the living machine. It just made me want to do more because they are trying and they have this building here and this system already going, and we could just add to it and help make it better. At school when were in the kitchen cooking for nutrition, [our teacher]makes a compost pile that she takes home to her garden. It makes me think we should start doing compost instead of just throwing it away. I notice at home when we are cutting up stuff, we just usually throw out the leftover vegetables instead of going to put it in the garden or even bringing it to somebody who uses them. We could do more, it makes me want to do more. Also, you never know how important it is until its brought to your attention and you see the change that you can make by just doing it and being involved. Being here and learning about it just helps me learn, and Im glad that we are all engaged in it. Because its not everyday where we just can take a break and learn about sustainability.
Q: What would you like to share with the community about caring for the environment or about being in nature?
A: Definitely getting more kids involved. I think it could be more beneficial if it was little kids and older kids working together. Why dont we get all the kids involved from each school? I think we should have younger kids involved so that when we leave they already have experience with it. Big kids helping little kids make Oberlin and the world run better. Then you have a bonding experience so you really dont think of it as community service after doing it.
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