Mikayla Robson has ambitions to one day become an ‘Ecoboss’ and by all accounts, she is well on her way. With a passion for finding solutions to improve the environment, combined with a strong interest in leadership, Mikayla recently entered and won the Girlboss Edge Primary Industry challenge. Topping 500 other college aged women from around New Zealand, Mikayla was also selected as a finalist in the Girlboss Law challenge.
For her award, Mikayla was asked to develop a solution to an issue she felt passionate about. She chose protecting our waterways (Taonga) and by using the knowledge gained from attending the Girlboss programme and just four days of research, Mikayla designed a three-tier water filtration system to remove microplastics from stormwater. Now, on the back of her win, she plans to develop her concept further with the support of mentors from the Ministry for Primary Industries.
“It’s really opened my eyes to the world beyond school,” says Mikayla of her Girlboss Edge experience.
In Year 12, Mikayla is studying Level 3 Biology and Media Studies, both of which she hopes to pursue further after high school. The skills she is developing through her studies and while serving as a member of Ecolution (the College’s environmental group) and Senior Student Council, has seen Mikayla become adept at taking complex scientific ideas and finding simple and effective ways to communicate them. She has also benefited from courses and mentorship opportunities with Girlboss, an organisation she joined as a Year 9 student, who works with young female leaders interested in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics).
Mikayla says having the opportunity to work alongside like-minded young women on topical issues through the Girlboss Edge programme was one of the huge benefits of her win. “I’ve made so many friends. It’s been so cool for making connections. Us ladies have got to stick together!”