In February I had the great opportunity to take part in the 2009 State of the Fraser Basin Conference. This is an event that has been hosted by the Fraser Basin Council every two years since 1997. It brings people together from across the province to share their stories and inspirations.

In previous years the conference spanned two days, but this year an additional day was added to encourage youth to participate. The first day was for youth only, and to be considered a youth you would have to be between the ages of twenty-nine and sixteen. Throughout the day we were being constantly stimulated; during our breakout sessions, in our regional groups, and by the keynote speakers. If nothing else it caused one to ask some questions.

The second and third days were also lots of fun as well as educational, but they were much more serious. This was because we were being joined by adults from across the province. John Furlong the Chief Executive Officer of the Organizing Committee for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and Emily Jubenvill, the greenest person in Canada, are just two examples of speakers from the conference. They shared their life stories, goals, and motivations. The conference proceedings were overlooked by the honourable Iona Campagnolo, who was formerly the chair of the Fraser Basin Council and Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Her presence at the conference gives a sense of how important this event is.

Over the three days I spent at the conference, I was inspired and impressed. Everybody I met came from a different background. I learned a lot about the different cultures and struggles in BC. What united everyone at the conference was the understanding that we have to plan for the future. Being with so many likeminded people, it was natural to also become excited about sustainability. The presenters were phenomenal and did a great job of educating and inspiring us. The three days I spent at the conference educated me and made me a stronger person, and I look forward to using my new knowledge in my everyday life.