Sharvari Athalye is a senior volunteer leader in ECHO’s Educational  Team.

An ‘ECHO-logical’ Experience

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Thursday January 30, 2014

While it’s always fun to look past the green mountains for new volunteer opportunities, there are plenty of them here in Vermont. SBHS junior Sharvari Athalye (pronounced Shah-var-ee Ah-ta-lay) has found her niche right here near Lake Champlain with the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Museum’s Educational Team (commonly referred to as the E-Team). She began her internship sophomore year and is currently a senior leader in the student leadership program.

The E-Team is a committed group of teens who help educate both children and adults about environmental sciences. This is done using games, crafts, and other types of interactive activities. Athalye explains that the E-Team’s mission is “to complete ECHO’s mission to educate and delight people about the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin.” This is the feature of the program that speaks most to her.

 Athalye was looking for an internship that would allow her to play an active role within the community. With the help of the CDC’s Coordinator Nancy LaVarnway, she discovered the ECHO internship. 

“I knew this was a perfect opportunity for me because ECHO has a perfect balance between science and interaction within the community,” she said. Looking ahead, she commented, “I plan on using the knowledge I gained from this experience to find ways to create better environmental solutions to the problems we face in our community.”

Being a part of this group of special teens has already helped Athalye grow immensely. She gives the E-Team credit for sparking her interest in science and allowing her to become more aware of environmental issues in and around Lake Champlain. The new knowledge and resources provided by ECHO also helped her prepare her science fair project on the lake. Summing up her internship experience she states, “This program broadened my knowledge of science, enhanced my social skills, and provided me with strong leadership-skills that are not only useful at ECHO, but in my everyday life as well.”

SOURCE: Kailey Miller, CDC Correspondent Class of 2017