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Northumbria student scores once-in-a-lifetime trip to Brazil

Press release   •   Jun 30, 2014 00:00 BST

A Northumbria University, Newcastle, graduate will represent the UK at an elite programme for future sustainability leaders in Brazil.

Rochelle Martin, 22, is one of only 23 participants from around the globe who will travel to the country’s rainforest in July to attend the ‘Amazon Summer School on Sustainability’, which is a globally-renowned programme.

It provides world-class learning and volunteering experiences and involves sustainability training, cultural exchange, and engagement in the wildlife and local communities.

Rochelle, who is from Belfast, has just graduated with an integrated Masters Law degree from Northumbria Law School.

She is the only UK student who was selected to attend the programme following a world-wide application process. The three week school begins on July 21 and Rochelle is also planning to stay beyond the initial training programme to undertake additional project work and to volunteer as a swimming teacher to give lessons to local children.

Rochelle said: “This is an amazing opportunity for me and I can’t wait to meet the group in Brazil. I think it will be quite challenging as it is about leadership and management around an incredibly important and planet-wide issue. The trainers in Brazil will be looking to see where the sustainability leaders of tomorrow are, and whether they have a flair for making positive things happen at a genuinely international level.’’

During her time at Northumbria, Rochelle was a driving force and President of the University’s student sustainability society; set up to work closely with Faculty managers to promote more sustainable behaviour. Successes included encouraging students to take part in a campus-wide Green Impact initiative and developing sustainability audit programmes. Plans to set up sustainability working groups with local law firms in the North East have also been developed.

She added: “I’d also like to thank Northumbria for supporting me over the past four years, and for collaborating so enthusiastically with the Sustainability Society. There is a real focus at the University on the value of volunteering and other extra-curricular activities to enhance both the student experience and career opportunities, and this certainly helped with my application to the Amazon Summer School.”

Upon her return from Brazil, in late August, Rochelle is hopeful of securing a traineeship to become a fully qualified solicitor. She is especially interested in law firms who have business and environmental departments as she has a strong interest in how businesses follow and interpret environmental legislation.

Rochelle is also the founder and former captain of the women’s water polo team in Northumbria and she has promised to come back and cheer on the team whenever she can.

The Amazon Summer School is run by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation and is aimed at anyone who has already started university, regardless of their field of study, professional experience or country of origin. Selection is based on academic and professional background, level of interest in sustainability, ability to live and interact in a multicultural environment, physical and emotional maturity and proactivity.

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