Conference diverse, educational


Roark takes part in environmental conference

By Charles Warner - cwarner@civitasmedia.com



Courtesy photo The 250 National Youth Delegates to the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University pose for a group photo in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The conference was held June 28-July 3 and among the delegates participating was Union County High School student Kasie Roark.


Courtesy photo The 250 National Youth Delegates attending the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University were divided into groups with each group assigned a specific color. Here, members of the blue group visit the National Zoo. Union County High School student Kasie Roark (center) was one of the delegates assigned to the blue group. Here, she and fellow delegates Drew Hoyle (right) from Shelby, NC, and Cole Carey (left) from Nebraska visit an Amazonian Bird Exhibit in the National Zoo.


Courtesy photo During the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University, the 250 National Youth Delegates visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and other institutions that deal with the environment as well as several national monuments. The delegates included Union County High School student Kasie Roark.


Courtesy photo Union County High School student Kasie Roark (second from right) poses with the three young women who were her roommates during the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University. They were among the 250 National Youth Delegates taking part in the summit. The delegates were from throughout the United States and from a variety of backgrounds and Roark said it was the most diverse group she’d ever been part of.


Courtesy photo While attending the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University June 28-July 3, Union County High School student Kasie Roark (left) took this selfie of herself and Alexis Bilas-Imperiale. The two were National Youth Delegates to the conference with Roark representing South Carolina and Bilas-Imperiale a representative from California. The two became good friends during the conference and now stay in contact via social media.


Courtesy photo Edgar Allan Poe Square is located in Baltimore, Maryland where the 19th century author, poet, editor, and literary critic is buried. After attending the 2015 National Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University, Union County High School student Kasie Roark visited Baltimore with her brother and his girlfriend. Among the sites they visited was Poe’s grave.


Courtesy photo After the 2015 National Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University ended, Union County High School student Kasie Roark stayed in Washington, DC with her brother and his girlfriend and attended the Fourth of July celebrations, watching the fireworks display from the National Mall.


By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

UNION — A youth conference on the environment brought a Union County High School student into contact with what she said was the most diverse group of young people she has ever been part of and helped her decide on the course of study she will probably pursue in college.

In January, it was announced that UCHS student Kasie Roark had been selected to represent South Carolina as a National Youth Delegate to the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University.

Roark was one of a select group of 250 students from across the country to participate in the intensive week-long study of leadership in environmental science and conservation. She was chosen based on academic accomplishment and a demonstrated interest and excellence in leadership in the sciences and conservation studies.

The summit was held from June 28-July 3 and after returning from the summit, Roark spoke about her experiences at the conference with The Union Daily Times.

“On the first day, we went to the National Zoo and we went to see a few of the monuments,” Roark said. “Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA, talked to us about the environment.

“That Tuesday we did our experiences; mine was the Smithsonian Conservation Biological Institute,” she said. “We toured the facility and I talked to the head veterinarian, the cheetah keeper, and two of the researchers. They had panels and we had the opportunity to question them and we spent two hours asking questions.”

Roark said that on Wednesday the group toured National Geographic and on the final day of the conference went to the National Mall and talked to US senators and representatives about what they were doing for the environment. They also visited the Museum of Natural History and, on the final night of the conference, attended a gala dance and dinner.

Attending the conference benefited Roark in a number of areas including getting college credit, helping her decide on her future educational plans, and making new friends.

“I got a college credit for doing it and I figured out what my major is probably going to be,” Roark said. “It is going to be a biology degree specializing in Ethology, animal behavior and genetics, with a minor in conservation.

“The Smithsonian Conservation Biological Institute has a semester program for conservation and people who want to be in research and that is what I want to do,” she said. “So I could attend USC and transfer there for a semester and that’s what I want to do.”

Roark said that the delegates were divided into groups, each with assigned a particular color. She said the color for her group was blue and included delegates from Nebraska, Washington, California and from elsewhere across the country.

While attending the conference, Roark shared a room with three other young women. She said one of her roommates was Jewish, one African-American, and one was an Indian originally from Guatemala.

Roark said she became good friends with Alexis Bilas-Imperial, a young woman whose family is originally from The Philippines but now live in California and they remain in contact via social media.

“It was probably the most diverse place I have ever been,” Roark said.

Despite their differences, however, the delegates shared common interests, including athletics.

“A lot of us would get together,” Roark said. “I brought a volleyball and by the end of the week we had 40 people playing.”

Roark did not immediately return home after the conference ended, but instead remained in Washington with her brother and his girlfriend who had accompanied her and watched the fireworks display celebrating the Fourth of July from the National Mall. They also traveled to Baltimore, Maryland where their tour of that city included visiting the grave of Edgar Allan Poe.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Courtesy photo The 250 National Youth Delegates to the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University pose for a group photo in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The conference was held June 28-July 3 and among the delegates participating was Union County High School student Kasie Roark.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_image2.jpegCourtesy photo The 250 National Youth Delegates to the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University pose for a group photo in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. The conference was held June 28-July 3 and among the delegates participating was Union County High School student Kasie Roark.

Courtesy photo The 250 National Youth Delegates attending the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University were divided into groups with each group assigned a specific color. Here, members of the blue group visit the National Zoo. Union County High School student Kasie Roark (center) was one of the delegates assigned to the blue group. Here, she and fellow delegates Drew Hoyle (right) from Shelby, NC, and Cole Carey (left) from Nebraska visit an Amazonian Bird Exhibit in the National Zoo.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_image1.jpegCourtesy photo The 250 National Youth Delegates attending the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University were divided into groups with each group assigned a specific color. Here, members of the blue group visit the National Zoo. Union County High School student Kasie Roark (center) was one of the delegates assigned to the blue group. Here, she and fellow delegates Drew Hoyle (right) from Shelby, NC, and Cole Carey (left) from Nebraska visit an Amazonian Bird Exhibit in the National Zoo.

Courtesy photo During the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University, the 250 National Youth Delegates visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and other institutions that deal with the environment as well as several national monuments. The delegates included Union County High School student Kasie Roark.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_image2a.jpegCourtesy photo During the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University, the 250 National Youth Delegates visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and other institutions that deal with the environment as well as several national monuments. The delegates included Union County High School student Kasie Roark.

Courtesy photo Union County High School student Kasie Roark (second from right) poses with the three young women who were her roommates during the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University. They were among the 250 National Youth Delegates taking part in the summit. The delegates were from throughout the United States and from a variety of backgrounds and Roark said it was the most diverse group she’d ever been part of.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_image6b.jpegCourtesy photo Union County High School student Kasie Roark (second from right) poses with the three young women who were her roommates during the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University. They were among the 250 National Youth Delegates taking part in the summit. The delegates were from throughout the United States and from a variety of backgrounds and Roark said it was the most diverse group she’d ever been part of.

Courtesy photo While attending the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University June 28-July 3, Union County High School student Kasie Roark (left) took this selfie of herself and Alexis Bilas-Imperiale. The two were National Youth Delegates to the conference with Roark representing South Carolina and Bilas-Imperiale a representative from California. The two became good friends during the conference and now stay in contact via social media.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_image4b.jpegCourtesy photo While attending the 2015 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University June 28-July 3, Union County High School student Kasie Roark (left) took this selfie of herself and Alexis Bilas-Imperiale. The two were National Youth Delegates to the conference with Roark representing South Carolina and Bilas-Imperiale a representative from California. The two became good friends during the conference and now stay in contact via social media.

Courtesy photo Edgar Allan Poe Square is located in Baltimore, Maryland where the 19th century author, poet, editor, and literary critic is buried. After attending the 2015 National Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University, Union County High School student Kasie Roark visited Baltimore with her brother and his girlfriend. Among the sites they visited was Poe’s grave.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_image3a.jpegCourtesy photo Edgar Allan Poe Square is located in Baltimore, Maryland where the 19th century author, poet, editor, and literary critic is buried. After attending the 2015 National Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University, Union County High School student Kasie Roark visited Baltimore with her brother and his girlfriend. Among the sites they visited was Poe’s grave.

Courtesy photo After the 2015 National Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University ended, Union County High School student Kasie Roark stayed in Washington, DC with her brother and his girlfriend and attended the Fourth of July celebrations, watching the fireworks display from the National Mall.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_image7b.jpegCourtesy photo After the 2015 National Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University ended, Union County High School student Kasie Roark stayed in Washington, DC with her brother and his girlfriend and attended the Fourth of July celebrations, watching the fireworks display from the National Mall.
Roark takes part in environmental conference

By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

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