It’s not the send off we hoped for, but even without all the pomp and circumstance, we are so proud of our high school volunteers, Ken Forbeck and Audrey McManigle. For the last three years, these two have given their time and energy to support Welty and bring their enthusiasm and smarts to the table.
Ken Forbeck joined the Welty Board as a youth member in the spring of 2018, after spending the previous summer helping with day camp as a junior naturalist. He volunteered as a goat ambassador last summer, by working the social media angle for our furry grounds crew, and presented programs at Nature at the Confluence with Aaron. He is graduating from Craig High School in Janesville this week, and is attending UW-Madison with plans to major in Wildlife Ecology. (Left: Ken Forbeck; Right: Audrey McManigle)
I asked him how his experience with Welty and EE will inform his post-high school life. Ken said, “EE is invaluable in our world today as we face countless extreme environmental problems. Having attended Conserve School, volunteered with Welty, and connected with our environment through many educational opportunities, I have found that EE is extremely important to me. That passion has led me to pursue environmental knowledge at the collegiate level. Welty has helped show me a variety of ways that I can learn about our environment and helped expand me as an environmentalist.”
Also heading to UW-Madison, is Audrey McManigle, who has been Aaron’s steady right-hand at No-School Fridays for the past two years, and helped lead last summer’s Welty camp at the end of August. She is graduating from Beloit Memorial High School and was awarded the prestigious Herb Kohl Excellence Scholarship (among many other awards!) this spring. In Madison, she will be double majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science–possibly minoring in Dance. She intends to continue onto Law School to seek a degree in Environmental Law after her undergraduate years.
When asked to reflect on why young people should should engage in EE, Audrey responded, “Environmental education, and the manner in which it connects to nearly every aspect of modern society, is causing it to become one of the most important educational pursuits of today. As young people, who will one day inherit society, it is never too early for us to start investing ourselves in EE and sustainability solutions through volunteerism and thoughtful activism.”
We will miss these two, but are so excited to see what the next chapter holds for them. We are lucky to have had their help at the Center, and the organization is stronger for the work they have done. We wish you both the very best and congratulate you on your many accomplishments –Cheers!