ECO_CARE meets Laura Vita
Title: ECO_CARE meets Laura Vita
By: Laura Vita
As a requirement for my Masters program, I completed my summer practicum with Margherita & Emily as a member of the Follow Your Heart project with ECO_CARE. I connected with Margherita and Emily in the fall of 2022 through faculty at McMaster University and read the manuscript for Follow Your Heart: The School for Multipotentialites. After reading the manuscript and connecting over Zoom, I knew I had found the perfect team to complete my practicum with. I instantly connected with the character of “Cora” and the struggle with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up”. As someone who has many passions and a wide skill set, I have struggled to understand how to have a linear career path; I crave variety but have often feared outside judgment over the decisions I have made to change course both educationally and professionally. Working on the ECO_CARE team is the first time in my life I have been made to feel that all my various interests and skills were assets and not liabilities. To say I have been incredibly grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the amazing work that ECO_CARE is doing would be an understatement.
My first assignment was to participate in and help organize and facilitate the Third Book Launch event for Follow Your Heart in Marseille, FR. I was delighted to attend and even more delighted to meet Margherita, Emily and Valentina in person! Working on the Follow Your Heart Project allowed me to work alongside incredibly talented and kind-hearted team members who supported and encouraged me to produce my best possible work. I was encouraged in my independent work and to take on and initiate projects, allowing me to be involved with multiple initiatives, from social media content creation to academic writing and stakeholder participation initiatives.
Working with ECO_CARE has been a fantastic opportunity to grow academically, professionally and personally. This practicum has allowed me to explore my creative intuition, academic critical thinking and encouraged me to think outside the box. ECO_CARE has demonstrated to me the abilities of one organization to have multiple different areas of impact and to value deeply the knowledge and ability required to work in an interdisciplinary way. The ECO_CARE Team's exceptional ability to blend participatory research, academic integrity, advocacy, and emotional intelligence in diverse ways toward their greater goal of protecting the ocean and the environment is truly inspiring. It is also an excellent example of working collaboratively instead of in silos to collectively work toward achieving goals set out in the SDGs. Working with ECO_CARE reminds me that we all have different talents, and all of those talents are valuable in working together to achieve sustainable change.
I look forward to everything the ECO_CARE team is going to accomplish in the future!
Laura Vita in Marseille, during the book launch in May 2023
This post can be cited as: Laura Vita, ECO_CARE meets Laura Vita, July 27, 2023.