Blythe Swim Shot
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Leading Today for Tomorrow – Meet Blythe Wieclawek

Leading Today for Tomorrow – Meet Blythe Wieclawek. When it comes to Climate Change, today’s youth is demonstrating true strategic capacity in the pursuit of long-term, sustainable goals, while ensuring that the requisite change starts today.  This is particularly true of Blythe Wieclawek, a grade ten student at Orillia’s Twin Lakes and an active member of Sustainable Orillia’s Youth Council.  Blythe believes in taking responsibility and doing everything one can to ensure that our world remains healthy and sustainable.  She speaks convincingly of the importance of taking actions today, to protect our planet for tomorrow.   In this regard, Blythe is an excellent role model, not just for her fellow youth, but for all generations.  We are pleased to present a profile of Blythe and hope that it underscores the need for all of us to do more on behalf of our environment and a healthier future for all our young people.
Blythe with Wings

Since joining Sustainable Orillia’s Youth Council last September, Blythe has been an energetic contributor to the Council’s agenda.   In her capacity as one of the Council’s Vice-Presidents, Blythe is currently spearheading plans for a comprehensive one-day ‘Sustainable Simcoe Youth Conference’.  The conference will highlight sustainable practices and will offer leadership and learning opportunities for hundreds of local youth. It will also be a forum for these young people to form connections and relationships that will amplify their voice and generate more support for their movement.  The event is planned for May 2022 and is tentatively set to be held at Orillia’s Lakehead University campus.   It’s a complex undertaking involving sourcing speakers, setting the agenda and logistics, plus promoting and ensuring maximum participation from across the region.   Responsibilities that Blythe has taken on with conviction. 

Blythe gives much credit to her family for both her vision and her values.    She points to learning to appreciate and protect the environment at an early age and how growing up in a farm environment instilled a deep love of gardening and nature.  As you will discover, Blythe has many interests and talents, however her major passion is competitive swimming.  Blythe has been active in the sport since she was eight.  She is a member of Orillia’s famed Channel Cats and can be found in the pool four mornings a week; which says a great deal about her work ethic and self-discipline;  although loving the sport must help as well. Blythe attributes many life lessons to swimming; including hard work, independence and the ability to take on feedback. Her only disappointment in the pool came from the disruption COVID-19 brought to her competitive schedule.  Last spring, Blythe was achieving times in the pool that would qualify her for the Junior Olympic Trials…  however due to COVID-19 the trials were cancelled and it will be a while before she’ll be able to vie again for the opportunity.   Impressively, despite the disappointment, Blythe remains committed to her sport and will keep training with a view to making it happen once things open up again.  

Looking ahead, Blythe plans to solidify her future academic plans over the next year, noting that she has begun to enjoy the sciences more of late.  Wherever she goes for post-secondary… competitive swimming will be an important factor in her decision, as Blythe intends to swim varsity.  Blythe is also a musician, and has played the piano since she was five.  She currently plays clarinet in the school band and recently taught herself the guitar, which she is enjoying very much.  Not surprisingly, Blythe sees traveling in her future as well. She is fascinated by different eco-systems and says “honestly, I would love to see it all – deserts, tundra, rain forests, volcanoes… while meeting people all along the route.”  

Before signing off in our conversation, Blythe took a moment to promote the Youth Council and to encourage fellow students to join the Council.  She stressed that everyone is welcome and can take whatever role, large or small they wish.   It is a great venue to learn important long-term skills and Blythe sees the Council as a group of like-minded people, working together to make the world better for the environment.    

It’s important work and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.  Our hope at Sustainable Orillia is that readers will be inspired by the energy and commitment Blythe and her fellow Youth Council members bring to the pursuit of sustainability.  Sustainable Orillia is deeply appreciative of the work Blythe and all her colleagues around the Youth Council Table are doing.  We share their determination to protect their future and our planet.   

Thank you Blythe and good luck with all of your endeavors.  
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