Every successful team or organization has someone behind it whose energy and enthusiasm inspires others to work hard and reach their potential.
For several groups over the past year, this person was Emma Seward.
As Woodlands Secondary School student council co-president, Seward organized school-wide activities to get her fellow students feeling involved and part of the school community, such as spirit days and pep rallies.
She’s not afraid to get up in front of the entire school, and her reward is when people come up to her and tell her they have fond memories of an event she helped organize.
“I really like taking leadership and organizing things I see would benefit the school,” she said.
While the school community is a big focus, Seward is also a global thinker – she organized a fundraising campaign for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which included a garage sale, dance and coin jar collection.
She also played on her school’s volleyball, soccer and basketball teams, as well as a community soccer team.
“I like always having something to do,” said Seward.
While student council and sports teams are important to Seward for the good memories and friends made, her big passion is environmental issues.
Seward was one of the founding members of her school’s environmental club a few years ago, and through it has educated her fellow students on various ways to reduce their impact on the environment.
She starts the Global Resource Systems program at the University of B.C. this September, which focuses on natural resource conservation.
Seward wants to work on environmentally sustainable agriculture or forestry practices or water conservation. She is worried about what the future will hold if people continue consuming non-renewable resources at the rate they do now.
“I just want to do something to change it,” she said.
The chance to do a field study in another country was another draw for Seward – participants pick both a resource and a world region to focus on and she loves to travel.
She’s been to New Zealand, England, Spain, France, Holland and Italy.
Gunnar Myhrer, Seward’s soccer coach, said Seward’s positive behaviour, energy and personality are infectious.
“She always tries to be positive and encouraging to other players,” said Myhrer.
“She served as one of my captains. You want somebody who can try to get the most out of people around her.”