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Co-op student makes positive contribution

A photo of co-op student Will VanDongen-Miles giving a thumbs up while working in the field.


Co-op student Will VanDongen-Miles makes positive contribution

Ausable Bayfield Conservation would like to thank Will VanDongen-Miles, of Grand Bend, for his many positive contributions as a secondary school co-op student from South Huron District High School (SHDHS) in Exeter.

Will began with us on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. He completed his co-op term with us on Wednesday, June 19, 2024. He is in his final semester at SHDHS.

Will hopes to go to college next year for either Fish and Wildlife Technician or Environmental Technician.

"I have extremely enjoyed my time at Ausable Bayfield Conservation," he said. "I have benefitted greatly ... learning something new every day that I will never forget and that I will use on my college journey."

Will has said he has appreciated working with staff at Ausable Bayfield Conservation and he has learned many different skills at his position. He has worked inside the office, inside the workshop, and outside in the field completing many tasks including tree planting and environmental monitoring (water sampling for presence and absence of aquatic species).

"I would personally like to thank all of the staff ... from the bottom of my heart," he said. "These few months have been an incredible turning point in my decision to go to college and in my future career in the environmental field."

Everyone at Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) " ... has made my stay very welcoming and inclusive," he said.

The opportunities to work in different areas of conservation gave Will a chance to learn, ask questions, communicate with co-workers and clients, and to become a team player. He thanked management and staff: "I truly appreciate all of your kindness, patience, and guidance shown to me during my time here," he said. "I am extremely grateful to you and your team at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority."

The SHDHS Co-operative Education Program thanked Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) for having hosted Will. "Thank you for your support of our Co-op Program," said teacher Julie Bower. "We really appreciate the fantastic experiences and opportunities that you provided for Will this semester."

You have made a positive difference to local conservation in your work here, Will! We will miss you and wish you all the best in the future … and we know you will do well!

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