To start off, my name is Connie Xiong and I attend Patrick Henry High in North Minneapolis. I'm going to be senior next school year - 2013!! After high school, my plans are to attend the U of M, and study somewhere in the Environment Field. I actually want to learn about clean drinking water around the world and teach others how to maintain their own water. How I came about to wanting to study the Environment field started by working with the Mississippi River Green Team, a group of youth students from North Minneapolis schools chosen by our outreach lady, named Ruth Murphy. When I first went to my interview with Ruth, she asked me this question: "Do you know the word invasive means? " I had no clue what she was talking about, all I knew was that I need a job over the summer so I could get a pay check. But Ruth explained what was invasive and the type of job that I was going to do, and I thought to myself that maybe it wasn't going to be that bad. When the summer job started and as the two years I worked with the Green Team passed, I came about the realization about the environment, and how much we can do as one person. I have gained many work experiences and skills; like net working, public speaking, and just building the confidence that I will need in my future.
I never really thought about the environment, I didn't think that it was that important or I just didn't really care. But as time flew by I starting to dislike seeing people littering in the streets it just started to bother me; there's a trash can by the corner, and people can't just simply throw it away. I had to at least offer a helping in hand to make a difference and just not watch from the margins. Although it is hard work in the sun, it is very rewarding in the end of the day, because this makes me realize I did do something to at least help the earth and restore bits and pieces. Coming home feeling physically tired is better then feeling mentally tired, and in fact my mind is at ease while at work enjoying my summer outdoors.