Olayiwola Bello: Sacrificing for the Planet 

Olayiwola Bello is a 2016 EarthCorps alumni from Nigeria. He is currently working for a private firm in Nigeria doing Environmental Analysis. He believes in the importance of sacrificing for the planet.

Olayiwola discovered EarthCorps thanks to the helpful recommendation of a friend. Having just graduated college with a degree in Agriculture from Federal University, Olayiwola was eager to start his career outside. As it turned out, the EarthCorps program perfectly combined his interest working with plants, getting hands on experience, and traveling the world. EarthCorps was the perfect step towards his goal of becoming an environmental professional.  

“The objective of EarthCorps is encouraging. You can bond with so many people without feeling isolated, you are part of something, your perspective and ideology is accepted.”  

His service year taught him an enormous amount about teamwork, leadership and community. “That mode of care is huge, and homestay gives you that privilege to belong to a family.”  Olayiwola recalls how working at EarthCorps gave him the opportunity to work with people from all over the U.S. and the world. Serving on EarthCorps allowed him to learn more about other global perspectives and acceptance.  

Another source of inspiration and learning for Olayiwola came from the corps’ emphasis on leadership. The workshops taught him that he was a leader and then he could practice it in the field. It was a transformative experience for Olayiwola, and gave him the skills that he still uses today.  

“My crew had corps members from France, Russia, Bolivia and the Phillipines. The community accepted everyone, regardless of your race, your color, your country. We saw ourselves as one, working towards and achieving just one goal.”  

The importance of this work continues to inspire Olayiwola. “No matter the sacrifice you make now, you are not making it only for yourself. The sacrifices you make for the environment now are for the future.”  

“If you destroy the environment now, then generations to come will think “What did you do with your time on earth?” Whatever you do now is a sacrifice for the future. You may not see the reason, but it is a privilege to work for the environment. Remember the environment will remain while you go back to the soil.” 

Are you considering joining EarthCorps? Olayiwola has some advice. He says this: “Be focused, you need to be determined. Working for EarthCorps is time well spent. Stay focused and give it all of your best, and they will walk away appreciating that time and what you will become after.”