Rylee joins Environment Tonga

Rylee James (right) with Ms Ta’hirih Hokafonu, the Principal Assistant Secretary, Principal Biodiversity Officer & Head of Islands and Ocean Ecosystems Division at the Department of Environment this morning. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

Nuku’alofa – October 16, 2019: 10am (Enviro News): American Pearce Corp volunteer Rylee James has joined the Department of Environment here in Nuku’alofa.

The 24 year old, originally from Oregon in the United States of America, said she “desired” to extend “my service and work with the Department of Environment in particular because I have a true passion for environmental and climate change matters and I wanted to work alongside others who share this passion”.

“I hold great value for the environment and believe it is our responsibility as humans to care for and respect the earth, for ourselves, future generations, and all other life,” she said.

She will be with the Department of Environment until December 2020.

“During this time, I hope to continue contributing to capacity-building within the Department, increase environmental awareness, and encourage further community engagement with and protection of the beautiful environment of the Kingdom of Tonga,” Rylee added.

Originally from Oregon Rylee attended university in New York where she studied International Studies, Sociology, and French.

American Pearce Corp volunteer Rylee James at her desk at the Department of Environment office in Nuku’alofa this morning. Photo: ENVIRO NEWS

“I applied and was accepted to the United States Peace Corps during my last semester in university in 2017, and I arrived to Tonga in August 2017,” she revealed.

Her first two years as a Volunteer saw her working under the title of English Literacy Facilitator at the Tailulu College.

“My experience in Tonga up to this point has been extremely rewarding, interesting, and life changing,” she said.

“I have learned an incredible amount in my time here thus far, and continue to learn every single day.”

Rylee hopes that she would be able to have a positive impact on those who engaged with projects she is involved with.

“By the end of my service, I hope that my work, whether it manifested in programs, projects, or conversations has positively impacted those in which it engaged with,” she added.

The Department of Environment will be hosting her at a ‘welcome morning tea’ on Friday, October 18.

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