I will, without a doubt in my mind, use what I have learned through my experiences mentoring high school students after the decathlon is over. Working with the high school students at Silver Creek, I have found out how amazing it is to work beside them and see their minds work. They are all so creative and driven to helping better the environment around them that it is incredibly infectious and I discovered that I enjoy being around them and working with them. I also find it greatly beneficial in the long run because if we want the green revolution to be successful, we need to teach the youth because their minds are more easily changed and because they will grow up to be the majority of the population. The older people get, the more stubborn they become, so teaching the youth to care for the environment will lead to a future population dominated by environmentally conscious people.
So you could say that I find teaching kids about sustainability to be an incredibly worthwhile thing to do and I would love to do more of that in the future. And I plan to. For example, I am currently in contact with an organization in Guatemala that is working with the community to teach kids about the needs of their environment, harms of pollution, how they can help, etc. My goal is to go to Guatemala this summer, brush up on my Spanish, and spend a few weeks teaching the local kids about living sustainably and taking care of their environment. So to answer the question quite bluntly, I am already planning on using my experience with the Sustainability Decathlon to help me teach more people about sustainability.
As for using my experience with engaging my peers, I have already been teaching my friends about what I learn in my environmental classes and ask them to help do their part to help the environment. I have always done that, though, but through mentoring Silver Creek, I have learned how to better communicate some good environmental habits so as not to seem like an annoying “green fascist” or something. Teaching good environmental practices is part of it, but the majority of what leads to successful teaching is in how you communicate your ideas.
All in all, I would have to say that I have learned quite a few things from participating in the Decathlon and mentoring high school students that I will surely take with me as I continue to teach others in my adventures in the world.