Where are they now? Nina Gage (OVUHS)

Hometown, current residence, age: Hometown, Brandon, currently reside in Burlington, 24 years old.
Family: My parents live in Brandon. Mother, Sue Gage, is the Town Clerk and Treasurer of Brandon. My father, Robert Induni, is a carpenter.
What I am up to: I am an Agricultural Water Quality Specialist with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets in the Water Quality Division. I have been in this position since March of 2017, working to support state efforts to reduce nutrient loading from agricultural operations and improve Vermont farm economic and environmental viability.
How I got to where I am now: UVM B.S in Environmental Studies in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. I worked at the Skinny Pancake all through college. I also worked in a variety of environmental jobs including the Vermont ANR/DEC Waste Management and Prevention Division, Keewaydin Environmental Education Center and the Intervale Gleaning Program then the Intervale Conservation Nursery.
I moved abroad for a period of time, lived in Oaxaca, Mexico, learning about food and farms systems of the central Oaxacan region. Then lived in Santa Marta, Colombia, teaching English at a public high school. Returned home to commit my time and career to my fellow Vermonters, our landscape and the future of our state.
Adults to whom I can attribute my current success: It takes a village to raise a child. I attribute my success to my community of friends, family, colleagues, professors, employers. Thank you especially to my parents and teachers for believing in me throughout the years! Shout out to a few amazing teachers in my life, Valerie Dawson, Larry Marzec Gerrior, Michael Dwyer, Bruce Perlow, Jim Avery, Pat Roberts and many more! You don’t realize the impact you have on children, but by believing in students and inspiring them you are rewriting history every day!
How my Vermont roots have influenced who I am today: I grew up eating healthy local food, enjoying the open lands and recreation of Vermont. I took this all for granted, and it took me a long time, and a lot of traveling to understand this. I consider myself an environmentalist and I have a deep respect for people, especially those who work incredibly hard every day to grow food and farm the land.
My memories of high school: High school is a formative time, so there were lots of highs and lots of lows, but they all made me who I am today!
My advice for this year’s crop of graduating seniors: Travel, explore and learn about the world. There are lessons you can only learn by leaving your comfort zone, understanding other ways of doing things, being open to other’s beliefs, and most importantly, make connections and relationships because that is the most important thing in life!

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