Making a World of Difference
Junior Estelle Barrett, majoring in Environmental Studies and Education, has found a way to incorporate both of their academic interests into an impressive work opportunity at Welty Environmental Center. The Welty Environmental Center is a local environmental center, where both children and adults can gain hands-on experience with nature to foster an appreciation of nature and promote environmental stewardship.
“My official job title is ‘Morse Environmental Educator Intern’. I’m currently in the fieldwork in education course, so I spend some afternoons working at Welty Environmental Center, and some afternoons working or volunteering at the Stateline Boys and Girls Club,” Barrett explained.
Barrett’s passion for the environment was inspired in part through Beloit College curricula.
“I’d say my interest in environmental science really started when I spent my gap year living and working in Yellowstone National Park. However, the course at Beloit that made me declare my major was Environmental Ethics with Matt Tedesco. Hearing Matt’s passionate lectures really sparked an interest in me, as well as the ability to debate the rights of the natural world. The class showed me how deep my connection to the environment is and so I knew I had to study and work within the environment more,” Barrett said.
This job has given Barrett the opportunity to make a positive and important impact in youth through environmental education.
“I kind of love everything about this job, but my favorite part is probably seeing students get excited about the outdoors. Watching a student identify clouds, hold a worm in their hand, or get excited about a shiny rock makes me so excited and proud. Environmental education is really important for supporting environmental stewardship in children; we are in an environmental crisis and we need more and more people to feel passionate about saving our natural resources,” Barrett exclaimed.
Barrett highly recommends this opportunity to other Beloit students interested in both environmental studies and in education.
“I absolutely would recommend this to other students; your science knowledge does not have to be extensive. You basically get paid to play with kids and dirt, which is the greatest job you could ask for,” Barrett said.