JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- For the first time, the National Wildlife Federation has selected a student from the University of North Florida for their fellowship program. Cheryl Pakidis is our Student of the Week.
You can find Pakidis daily working on a water quality analysis for an independent study in the environmental chemistry lab at UNF. She's getting ready for a much bigger project for the National Wildlife Federation.
"My job is to implement a climate action plan for the entire southeastern United States," said Pakidis. And it's a huge job.
As a senior, Pakidis has worked on environmental projects on campus including Garbage on the Green and the university's annual waste audit. She even helped plan and construct the first fully sustainable vegetable garden on campus.
Pakidis said saving the environment is important because, "everyone's connected to it. It's not that anyone can pull away from it and say it doesn't affect me and turn a blind eye. This is something that's not just affecting us, it's affecting the next generation and the next generation forever. I don't want to leave this world as it is."
Her next project is certain to make a big impact.
"To be part of the first group of people to implement a climate action plan that's going to affect the entire United States is really exciting," she said.
Pakidis is an english major with a minor in environmental studies. She hopes to eventually attend graduate school.
First Coast News