Nursing Student Awarded $30K Grant for Climate Action Project

May 7, 2024

RRC Polytech Nursing student Sophie Walker, wearing medical scrubs and stethoscopeRRC Polytech Nursing student Sophie Walker has received a $30,000 grant from the inaugural Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) and Wawanesa Climate Champions: Youth Innovation Grant for her project, Climate Resilient Nursing. 

“As a founding member of Canadian Colleges for Resilient Recovery, RRC Polytech has made a commitment to preparing students to use the skills they’ve learned and make real-world impacts,” says Dr. Christine Watson, RRC Polytech’s Vice-President, Academic and Co-Chair of the C2R2 Steering Committee.

“As a leading post-secondary institution, we play a vital role in advancing sustainability through our academic programs and applied research. Sophie’s project is an exciting reminder of how our students can help us move toward a more sustainable future. We are also very pleased that a Winnipeg-based organization such as Wawanesa has provided such a unique investment to support students’ research to positively impact climate action.” 

Walker’s Climate Resilient Nursing project aims to address nursing professionals’ lack of capacity to address climate changerelated health care system vulnerabilities and resilience. The project will increase climate awareness among nurses, help nursing students develop practical skills to become more climate conscious in their future careers and create a comprehensive resource guide for future students and instructors at RRC Polytech. 

“I am very grateful to receive this grant and excited to dive deeper into the research, says Walker. I have been interested in research since my first year in nursing school back in late 2019, and in the last three weeks I’ve had incredible support from my instructors and researchers at RRC Polytech in finding an idea and creating the proposal.

“Receiving this grant means I can help to make a difference and leave a lasting change. It will also help me gain valuable experience for my future career.” 

Walker worked with her Nursing instructors and with the Colleges Research Partnerships & Innovation team on the project, which was inspired by instructor Jennifer Morin, who Walker says is passionate about the subject and has a wealth of knowledge that helped her with the application.  

She is one of five Youth Innovation Grant recipients. Each grant is given to a student from a C2R2 partner institution to launch or enhance a climate adaptation or climate mitigation project. RRC Polytech is one of the founding partners of C2R2 and currently offers six micro-credential courses aimed at clean tech and social innovation. 

“C2R2 is proud to support the empowerment of youth leaders in their efforts to drive impactful change that centers on climate change adaptation and mitigation,” says Adrienne Madden, Coalition Manager, C2R2.

“RRC Polytech is among our esteemed partner institutions amplifying C2R2’s collective efforts, and we were excited to see such a strong project led by them for this inaugural Wawanesa Climate Champions: Youth Innovation Grant. We are eager to see the impact that Sophie’s project will have in Winnipeg, and more broadly within the nursing community.” 

Walker’s contributions to her community don’t end here. She was also recently in the news for her generous creation of the Journey Award for nurses to support other nursing students who have faced formidable challenges in their academic journey, as she did. 

Learn more about the awards.

RRC Polytech campuses are located on the lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininew, Dakota, and Dené, and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We recognize and honour Treaty 3 Territory Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, the source of Winnipeg’s clean drinking water. In addition, we acknowledge Treaty Territories which provide us with access to electricity we use in both our personal and professional lives.

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