Exploring the Importance of Connection with TGP


Sep 8, 2017

This past May, Amy joined us in Iceland for our Renewable Energy and Sustainability program as one of our first-ever GREEN Advantage Scholars. Inspired by her motivation, knowledge-hungry drive, and curiosity, we knew that she was going to be an exceptional addition to our Iceland program. Thrilled to have her as part our of GREEN Alumni community of more than 2,000 student leaders & young professionals around the world, we caught up with Amy to chat more about her experience in Iceland.  Read on to learn more about Amy & her biggest takeaways from her experience abroad with us!

Meet Amy M.

Iceland | Renewable Energy & Sustainability
May 2017 

University: Florida International University
Major: Environmental Science
Age: 18 
Hometown: Hialeah, Florida

“As a future researcher and lawyer, I can benefit unexchangeable knowledge from this experience. TGP will expose me to the researching process that I seek for.”

cj7c0h9kd04obaji54htjylz3 gopr0326

Tell us more about you! What is a day in the life of Amy like?

Lately, a day in the life of Amy has been one of exploration. I am looking for opportunities to engage in the community and solve many of the present environmental issues we face at the local level. So far, I have been contacting politicians and community leaders to search for remedies to these problems. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will have formed a plan that can begin to ameliorate these issues.


What inspired you to submit your application for The GREEN Program?

The GREEN Program was simply intriguing from the moment I heard of it. I could not believe that you could even experience glacier hikes, snorkeling between tectonic plates, and volcano hikes in a study abroad program! This is what captured me and lead me to apply. When I later received an acceptance, I could not fathom the fact that I would be able to live these moments while gaining an unequivocal quality of education. I sprung up in joy and exhaled excitement with every breath until the very moment I left Iceland.

cj7c1e1fg04rjaji5y0ghcwq5 gopr0153

When preparing for your TGP adventure, what were you most looking forward to and what were you seeking to get out of your time abroad with us?

For my TGP adventure, I really looked forward to traveling to a foreign country and familiarizing myself with a different culture. I really wanted to see the differences in attitude towards conservation and environmental consciousness from where I live. This truly interested me because I believe a certain amount of insight into varying attitudes could allow me to develop a skill on how to reach out to different people.

How would you compare your expectations pre-program to your experience during the program and beyond?

Never did I expect to meet such intriguing and intellectual people abroad. I made deep connections to people I had never met before. The experience of creating sudden wholehearted friendships to people with completely different lives from me just reminded me how amazing diversity is. This is because it provided me with insight into the human condition that I would otherwise have overlooked. Now as an alumni, I am more open and perceptive to people.

When you think back to Iceland, what are some of the most memorable portions of your program?

The most memorable part of my trip with The GREEN Program was the connections I made. This may seem a bit bizarre considering the breathtaking adventures we had, but I believe nothing is greater than the ability to grow as an individual. When I spoke to people with varying lives, I sincerely grew as a person.

cj7c28b1004umaji55b5e48no gopr0435 1

Did you have a pivotal moment or an experience during your time in Iceland that has altered or shifted the way you view the world around you?

I had moments during the trip where my perspective on the world changed. This was due to meeting extraordinary people and being in a gorgeous and dynamic country. I was always surrounded by something new and exciting. With every person I met and every place I visited my perspective changed.

Educationally, how would you say that your experience on TGP has benefited you moving forward as you continue working toward completing your degree?

The education was incredible. I had never in my life experienced anything like it. We would receive a lecture from an expert on hydroplants, and then the same day we would witness what they were speaking of. This allowed the information to not only settle in but for me to reach a greater understanding. The GREEN Program’s educational system is one that soars above the norm and allows its students to achieve a profound level of knowledge.

Fast forward to graduation: what is your dream career, and has TGP had an impact on shaping this professional path?

My dream career is to be an environmental lawyer and defend the rights of ecosystems. TGP has further assured me of my passions and goals.

I believe everyone should be able to experience TGP because it allows one to grow as a person while gaining an education. This is what makes the TGP so great. It shows its students that there is more the world has to offer and that we can accomplish our dreams in it. It also exposes one to the possibilities that could arise when working with others.

So, what’s next for you? What would you like to accomplish this year?

This upcoming school year I plan on joining the Sierra club and partaking in community events. I believe that as I do this I will meet like minded people like I did in TGP and form solutions that will demolish the issues that face us.

cj7c1tyfy05kq58i5yumwgdsp gopr0161 3

– Text & Images by: Amy M.

Read Another Article

Honoring Kate Slattery & Highlighting the Shine On Scholarship for Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, The GREEN Program is happy to highlight Kate Slattery – a mechanical engineer and photovoltaic designer for SolarCity who challenged herself and others to work toward a global mission of renewable energy and sustainability. We are honored to work with Kate’s family and GivePower to share Kate’s story and provide the Shine On Scholarship to TGP students in memory of Kate. 

read more

How an Online Sustainability Program Helped Jaedyn Medrano Become an Intersectional Sustainability Advocate

This blog features the virtual Nepal Ethics of Sustainable Development Alum, Jaedyn Medrano who says, “this program taught me how to think about a project holistically, and it has guided me along the path to being a better cultured and inclusive young professional.” She is set to graduate with a double major in Renewable Natural Resources & Ecological Restorations in December of 2022.

read more

Defending Reproductive Rights in the Battle for Climate Justice

Reproductive Justice is Climate Justice. The GREEN Program stands to defend the reproductive rights of all women and people who give birth to access safe reproductive health care. We must do more to educate others and understand the interconnection between Reproductive Justice and the Climate Crisis. It’s important to draw the connections between climate change, pollution, and reproductive rights.

read more

An International Graduate Student Embraces Nepali Culture by Studying Abroad through Shine On Scholarship

On one hand, I believe that every student should be given a chance to study abroad at least once in their life, because it teaches us things that textbooks cannot: adaptability, resilience, curiosity, empathy, just to name a few. Whether good or bad, bursting our bubble and learning about our world will inspire us and open our minds. On the other hand, the people we interact with benefit from the diversity, because all of us bring unique perspectives to the table. Perhaps we share an idea that no one has thought of but could be key to solving a problem; we fuel the aspirations of someone who is facing similar difficulties; or help take down stereotypes.  

read more

Remembering Juneteenth and the Fight for Environmental Justice

n June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. It is on this day every year since that we celebrate “Juneteenth” as the end of slavery in the United States. It is a day that we celebrate ancestors and leaders who fought to be liberated. We celebrate their power, resiliency, and tenacity. 

read more

LGBTQ+ Leaders and Organizations in Sustainability to Know About this Pride Month

The GREEN Program loves to celebrate love, and there is no better way to do that this month than by recognizing a few LGBTQ+ leaders and organizations that are making a difference not just in their own communities but for our planet altogether. Read below to learn more about some people and spaces that are working together to promote a better world that focuses on inclusion and equality.

read more

Meet 8 AAPI Leaders in Sustainability: Across the Globe and At Home

The month of May is known to many as the end of classes and the start of Summer, but May is also known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Our team at TGP wanted to take a moment to recognize the contributions and influence of AAPI Americans throughout history, culture, and achievements both on a global scale, and from those who are a bit close to home. We also encourage you to learn more about AAPI Heritage Month and get involved through additional resources.

read more

From a Start Up to a Sustainability Study Abroad Program: How Patrick Applied his Passion for Renewable Energy in Iceland

When Fall 2021 rolled around and I saw the TGP scholarship opportunity, I thought I’d apply not expecting much. When I found out that I actually got it, I was like “I guess I’m actually doing this!”. I was a little nervous and anxious but also so excited for the opportunity! I was also grateful that the enrollment process was very smooth for me with no significant challenges along the way.

read more

Boston University Student Gains a Unique Perspective for Renewable Energy & Sustainability by Studying Abroad in Iceland

Global experiences have definitely shaped me into the person I am today through increased cultural awareness and sensitivity. Getting to really know a great group of diverse individuals from all over the world has not only shaped my perspective on current world issues, but has also allowed me to take a glance at certain topics from another angle and point of view.

read more

A Construction Science Major Turns Lessons into Opportunity after a Sustainability Study Abroad Program 

AJ Ewing spent his past Winter Break a little bit differently than most students, by studying abroad on our GREEN Nepal program. As a Construction Science major, AJ notes that he was nervous coming into the study abroad program having no prior experience in sustainability or electrical/solar grids, but he was excited and eager to learn. As soon as he arrived, all his nerves were gone as he was welcomed by our team and ready to dive in. Now, he can honestly say that when he thinks of The GREEN Program, he thinks of “family away from home.”

read more

How a Geologist Made His Sustainability Dream in Iceland a Reality through a Study Abroad Scholarship

As someone who is in a field with a limited representation of ethnic minorities, TGP created a neutral ground where there was a range of diversity on different levels. My GREEN Program experience in Iceland wasn’t just about the adventures and cultural immersion, but about the education too. I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures because I saw how passionate the different lecturers were about their work and research which is truly inspiring. As a geologist, learning more about the wonder that is Iceland in Iceland was definitely a dream come true.

read more

Get to Know GREENie: Maryam Aida Tidjani

Maryam Aida Tidjani got to experience a brand new kind of GREEN Program during the hard times the world was facing, a 100% Virtual and Online experience. Initially planning on traveling to Peru in 2021, the global pandemic continued to shift things around and we had to pivot all travel programs to Online experiences.

read more

Subscribe to The GREEN Program newsletter & updates

Skip to content