Tag Archives: Climate Change

Ridleian Explores Arctic on Extraordinary Expedition

Fresh on the heels of being named a 2017-18 Ridley Prefect, environmental intrepid, Jack Hilditch ’18 set out on a unique arctic expedition with Students on Ice. Having been selected from a competitive pool of applicants, this Ridleian was invited to embark upon this once-in-a-lifetime experience, where he had an opportunity to learn about the remote culture, the environment and the effects of climate change.

Jack first donned a Ridley uniform in Grade 2 and has since spent his many years on campus discovering his passion, sense of curiosity and striving to make a difference – both in our community and beyond.

“My journey at Ridley has been filled with amazing people, opportunities and personal growth,” says Jack. “I can confidently say that countless exciting opportunities at Ridley have shaped who I am today. I have learned so much about myself and the world around me throughout my journey at Ridley,” he added. Beyond Ridley, Jack has also learned much about the world around him through his early exposure to ecological restoration, environmental planning, impact assessments, as he has followed in his father’s footsteps and has even taken on an internship as Environmental Consultant.

Last year, while travelling with his father to an environmental conference, Jack was introduced to an organization called Students on Ice. He instantly became intrigued by one of its programmes, which allows students from around the world to explore the Polar Regions and learn from leading scientists, politicians and those directly impacted by climate change in the Arctic. With support from his family and his IB Biology teacher, Ms. Kathy Anderson, Jack applied to join the programme and was ecstatic to find out he had been accepted.

Alongside 100 youth, Jack departed for the Arctic expedition in
August 2017. The group’s journey started in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, where the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Chris Ballard, announced the opening of a new National Park. For the next
two weeks, Jack and his peers travelled to regions in the Canadian
Arctic and made their way to Greenland. View their journey. Each location offered a rare adventure; whether it was kayaking in the chilly blue waters, hiking a glacier, cruising through channels or observing wildlife.

Credit: https://studentsonice.com

About the group’s daily activities while en route to amazing locals, Jack shared that, “In between each stop, our time on the ship was filled with so many workshops led by leading scientists, Inuit elders, politicians and so many different people. Some of the workshops included studying Arctic life under a microscope, throat singing, writing songs, absorbing lectures by leading scientists and engaging in talks about mental health. These activities changed every day, allowing us to explore a diversity of interests.”

  

Aside from the amazing activities and workshops, Jack described his favourite part of the trip as getting to know his peers and having the chance to engage with the experts. The Students on Ice group that Jack was a part of consisted of students from Micronesia, Malaysia, India, Mexico, Monaco and many more. Coming from a diverse community like Ridley, Jack was naturally interested in the diverse cultures, stories and experiences that each member of the global group was able to share.

Upon his return to St. Catharines, Jack was able to reflect on what he learned on his voyage. The devastating effects of climate change and the importance of cultural awareness were topics that permeated the entire trip and left the participants inspired to contribute to a solution.

“Not many people get to experience and observe the climate crisis in the Arctic first hand… After meeting many Inuit families on this expedition that were directly impacted by climate changed I have realized the importance and urgency of tackling such a significant global issue… This isn’t something that will only threaten this generation and the next, but it will pose many challenges for generations to come. It is our responsibility to act as a unified people to combat climate change as it is something that doesn’t affect one group of people, but all of us. Not only did we hear about climate change within the Arctic, but we also heard from students in Palau, Micronesia who are also experiencing climate change. They talked about how flooding has become very prevalent within many of their communities. Being able to experience this very evident crisis first hand was enlightening and inspiring. While we may think, we are not directly impacted, we all are,” urges Jack.

Although his trip has concluded, his journey as an ambassador for change isn’t. This inspiring student plans to share his story and the story of those he met along the way to spread awareness of the effects of climate change and inspire others to take action.

TransfORming Our Globe – Ted Chen ‘08

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We’re proud to introduce the TransfORming Our Globe blog series. Each month, we will feature Old Ridleians, who are making their mark on the world. The inaugural TransfORming Our Globe story is about a young man that identified an area of need, produced a solution, and was recently named to the Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list for his work in the Manufacturing and Energy industry.

Evercomm co-founder Ted Chen holding their wireless sensor chip
EverComm co-founder, Ted Chen holding their wireless sensor chip.

Originally from Taiwan, Ted Chen ‘08 came to Ridley College in 2002, as a Grade 7 boarding student. Ted spent six years at Ridley, and was highly involved in both academics and extracurricular activities while he was a student. Ted was a boarder in Burgoyne House in Grades 7 and 8 before realizing how cool it is in the North, spending Grades 9 through 12 in Merritt North House. During his time here, Ted demonstrated his willingness to try new things and work hard, both in and out of the classroom. Coming from Taiwan, Ted had the opportunity to pick up new sports and hobbies, and was most grateful for the opportunity to learn how to play basketball. He started playing on the Under-16 team, and eventually made the cut for the First Boys basketball team in Grade 12. Ted was also a member of the First harriers team and First lacrosse team. He earned the Duke of Edinburgh’s silver award, was a House Captain in Merritt North, and was a member of the Students with Advanced Technology Team (S.W.A.T.).

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Upon graduating, Ted attended Nanyang Technological University in Singapore where he studied Electronic and Electrical Engineering. He later took part in an entrepreneur bootcamp at Stanford University that helped motivate him to start his own business. He then returned to Singapore and cofounded EverComm in 2014.

EverComm uses data analytics to identify cost savings for companies with high energy bills. On average, his customers spend between three and six million dollars on energy per month. The EverComm platform allows these clients to save roughly one to three percent each month on their onerous energy bills.

In true Ridley fashion, Ted says his motivation lies outside of money or comfort. He wants to help transform our globe. Our planet is currently mired in a worldwide energy crisis that impacts everyone and Ted aims to do what he can to make a difference through the work of his venture. Ted’s team continues to grow and work towards combatting the issue of climate change. The industrial sector, with which Ted works most extensively with, consumes more than fifty percent of the world’s energy.

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In addition to citing many of the lessons he learned at Ridley, Ted claims he, “discovered who [he] was, discovered a love for computers, and learned to persevere through challenges.” Through athletics, he learned about his drive and how to compete to the best of his ability. He enjoys traveling the world and, thanks to Ridley, he knows, “someone in almost every pocket of the globe.”

Ted’s story is an excellent example of how hard work, opportunity, and a desire to improve the world around you can truly help to TransfORm Our Globe.

TransfORming Our Globe is a blog series where we share the exciting stories of alumni who are leading flourishing lives and changing the world. It is important to Ridley College to support our alumni and share the stories of Old Ridleians, who have discovered their passions and found success and happiness along this path. 

Do you know of any classmates that are living flourishing lives or transforming our globe? Email any suggestions for the TransfORming Our Globe blog series to development@ridleycollege.com.