Award Recipient

Vanessa Barr

CNSA Community Involvement Award

Being raised with a deep connection to nature has influenced my education and career trajectory in a unique way. Having worked internationally in some of the lowest income communities in sub-Saharan Africa, and within Indigenous youth populations in Canada, the role of environment and social determinants on health is undeniable, particularly in our climate crisis. Volunteering, participating, and working in human and environmental health promotion has always been a deep-rooted part of my identity. My return to school in fall 2018 to become a registered nurse allows me to continue my passion for building strong social community while acquiring the clinical skills necessary to make a tangible impact on people’s lives. Having worked and volunteered in the intersection of addictions, homelessness, prisons, and violence shelters for the past few years, I look forward to being able to returning to serve these (kind, wise, hilarious, brave) communities on Vancouver Island but with a new skills set. During school, I fill my free time volunteering at a supervised drug injection site on the Downtown East Side, doing community events and film screening on resource extraction in Indigenous communities with Beyond Boarding, and research assistance on racism towards Indigenous people in emergency departments. My long term plan is to combine skills of nursing and wilderness guiding to deliver holistic health programs that incorporate nature/adventure therapy for the body, mind, and spirit.

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