Corina McBride serves as the Challenge 2050 Program Associate for Local Connections by building relationships with the program’s executives, scholars, students and organizations that call Gainesville home. She strengthens the program by providing insight from her adventures as a student ambassador to Australia, high-school exchange student in China and research assistant in the Bahamas. She was the second student to earn the Global Leadership and Change Certificate after traveling to Brazil with Challenge 2050.
People sometimes ask me “why do you do what you do, why are you passionate about this?” So I tell them a story of when I was in Brazil.
I was one of 10 C2P students presenting to a board of agricultural professionals about potential solutions to crop loss in Brazil. Professors and deans from Sao Paulo State University were in attendance along with industry leaders, farmers and stake holders all listening to what we (a group of undergraduates) had to say. They looked to us for solutions and the best we could come up with was “build an extension and outreach component to your existing agriculture curriculum,” but that wasn’t enough. The university had a strong extension program that was already overworked. After we exhausted our collective brain power one industry leader look us in the eyes and said “you don’t understand. You tell us to do this and that but you don’t understand. This is affecting people today, people who can’t afford to wait a few years for some solution. Farmers are dealing with climate change today, starvation, disease, water, these are all problems we have here, today-not tomorrow, not in 2050, but today. That’s when it hit me–we don’t have time to sit around and think about solutions for these problems in 20 years, we need to act now before it’s too late. Engage, participate and create, with the last part being the most important part. Create meaningful actions! That’s why I’m doing what I love; saving the world through leadership and education.
Corina is studying Natural Resource Conservation and loves every minute of it. Outside the academic sphere, Corina is a Girl Scout leader to sixteen 8-11 year olds, raises guide dog puppies and loves to garden at her apartment. She is dedicated to women empowerment, urban agriculture and alternative energy. Her favorite piece of advice is “don’t back down if someone tells you you’re not good enough.”