Jamy Fredericks’ Nature Connect Journey started in 2017 when she was a Nature Conservation student at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Here is her story of how she is doing what she loves every day as a conservationist:

My first interaction with Nature connect was in my second year of studies. We were fortunate enough to attend a week-long camp at Rondevlei. At the camp, we learned how to launch an investigation and conduct an environmental program that is both informative and captivating. Furthermore, while on camp, I had the privilege of meeting the Eland from the Gantow project and, later, volunteered to work with them.

During the same year, Nature Connect offered bursaries to 14 nature conservation students. I was one of the students privileged enough to be awarded the bursary, and because of this, I could complete my studies without having to accumulate any student debt.

Once I had completed my B-tech in nature conservation, I applied for the position of Conservation Officer and was hired. I have been in this position for more than a year and have been learning and developing.

Nature Connect has been a vital part of my journey to becoming a conservationist. Our organisation feels like a community of people looking out for each other. I am honoured to work in a space where every individual’s voice matters and their expertise is respected.

I love that I get to research and implement conservation strategies and see the outcome of the work done. I love that I can gain knowledge on concepts not part of my chosen education. For example, I now know how to interpret and understand water quality results. I also love working with students and volunteers from all walks of life; they bring different perspectives and ways of thinking that we need in conservation!

My advice for other students who want to get this space: Love what you do, and if you don’t, find something you love doing and stick with that. Take every opportunity you can to get into the conservation space. Speak to as many people as you can and ask lots of questions. Use every opportunity to strengthen yourself intellectually, and don’t be afraid to get dirty. The best way to learn is to do the work!

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