Meet the GREEN Advantage Scholars


May 23, 2017

Here at The GREEN Program, we want to do our very best to ensure that our abroad opportunities are available to all students passionate about sustainable development and social good. Complementary of this global mission, The GREEN Advantage Scholarship aims to provide life-affirming and career-accelerating experiences to high potential student leaders who are motivated to positively impact their communities.
Three young student leaders will be able to join us abroad for a one-of-a-kind adventure dedicated to experiential education, professional development, and global citizenship. This opportunity would not have been possible without the support of our partners (Inspire) and donors of our mission of global sustainable development education and financial donations.​​​​​​​

With our inaugural scholarship summer underway as we speak, our Scholarship Board and partners chose to focus on Women in STEM, an underrepresented populous in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics industries. We’d like to introduce to you our first three GREEN Advantage Scholars: Amy, JingJing, and Rosemary. These three women demonstrate impressive leadership skills, genuine passion for positive social good & community betterment, and are immeasurably driven to accelerate their dream careers & pathways that will lead them there. We are incredibly inspired by their steadfast determination to overcome obstacles including socioeconomic boundaries, racial & gender gaps in the present workforce, and courage in navigating the higher education realm as first-generation attendee(s). 

I have learned to not become deterred, but instead see it only as a mere challenge and not a barricade.” – Amy M., FIU

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​For these reasons, and so many more, we selected these three young women to be the first recipients of our GREEN Advantage Scholarship opportunities. 

Meet Amy M. 

Iceland: Renewable Energy & Sustainability
May 2017 

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

Tell us more about your background and day-to-day motivation? Jose Marti was one of the most respected poets and journalists who contributed to the Cuban revolution and who died fighting for it. My mother was one who was particularly fond of his poetry, he would always read it to me during my childhood. I never knew why he was so intrigued by this man as a child, but now I am aware of why because I have been moved by him myself. There is one particular quote from him that has stuck with me,”Ser culto para ser libre,” which means be educated to be free. This had been cemented onto me because I know it to be true and I want to be as free as the books I read allow me to be. As I grew up with this in mind, I grew a personal affinity to science… Everything was intricate and part of the greater scheme that makes up our planet and universe. This type of knowledge thrilled me because it provided me with explanations. The sensation of being able to explain how our genes work and how proteins are made overpowered me. As scientific knowledge filled my life, I knew that I wanted to pursue this as a career. Entering into the world of science can be frightening because it is a career path that does not have many women in it and even fewer Hispanics in it. I am often discouraged from even considering it because of the challenges that it will pose to me not only in my studies, but socially. It has been a challenge to overcome this and yet, I have learned to not become deterred but instead see it only as a mere challenge and not a barricade.

Tell us why you rock! I believe I rock for the reason I carry a powerful will. With it, I drive myself to work towards learning as much possible. I do this for the reason that this knowledge will be used to search for answers to questions that are evident in our society. This will allows me to explore biology and ecology so that I can integrate this understanding into policy.  Most importantly, it drives me beyond any claim thrown at me that I can not do it.

Why do you believe that The GREEN Program is right for you? As a future researcher and lawyer, I can benefit unexchangeable knowledge from this experience. The Green program will expose me to the researching process that I seek for; one in which I can be exposed to other societial methods of stablizing human and environmental interactions. This will allow me to witness first-hand how scientific research can provide policy making guidelines. Therefore, by participating in this program I can learn the reality of how policy makers actually incorporate scientific research into their policy’s. Ultimately, I will obtain the skills I need when I perform my own research and gain some insight on how science could be more effectively incorporated into environmental legislation.

What are your career goals? I am interested in the unhealthy relationship between the environment and human societal development.  I would like to study how we can improve upon this parasitic relationship and move it towards a more mutualistic one. 

Meet JingJing Z.  

cj31r1u3k003ewxi5qvb43vwj 15994740 10206094514762284 3593057838080149775 o

Japan: Disaster Mitigation & Nuclear to Renewable Transitions
August 2017

University of Pennsylvania
Major: Systems Engineering
Age 20
Hometown: Philadelphia PA 

Tell us more about your background and day-to-day motivation? To study abroad, even if it’s just for ten days, is already the opportunity of a lifetime…. During orientation, I lost count of how many people kept raving to us, wide-eyed freshmen, about study abroad and how much it augments your college career. But they don’t talk about the logistics and obstacles behind that choice, and my socioeconomic background was once again holding me back. I thought the days of closing applications due to program fees and skipping over unpaid internships was over. So when I came across the GREEN program’s scholarship fund this year I was ecstatic.

To study abroad… is the opportunity of a lifetime. I desperately wanted an international experience before graduation and here was my chance. I want to experience a difficult culture and country that I’ve never been to. Couple that with learning about sustainability and raising awareness on the environment, that’s incredible.

Why do you believe that The GREEN Program is right for you? I think now is the perfect time to travel the world before responsibilities and the corporate world come settle you down into a routine. Experiencing different ways of life and cultures makes your mind expand and your perspective of the world even bigger. And that experience is priceless. But more importantly, with the world becoming more connected than ever is the exchange of countless ideas. I think looking for better ways to coexist with our environment and find ways to develop clean energy should be a goal for every country that has these problems. So to see what Japan has been doing first-hand would be amazing and possibly groundbreaking if we could also use that technology for other disaster-prone or heavily polluted areas around the world.

Tell us why you rock! I’m always trying to learn more about things whether it’s about politics, a good book, or exciting upcoming technology. My curiosity gene developed back in elementary school when my parents handed me my first library card; since then, I’ve read a ridiculous number of books ranging from magic to slice of life. Now, I wish to satisfy that gene by trying things that years ago I would’ve never agreed to. I’ve gotten more adventurous and I’m more than ready to take on the world.

What are your career goals? First and foremost, I want to make peoples’ lives easier whether it’s through something tangible or just designing a machine part. At the moment, I’m very interested in UI/UX and human computer interaction. Growing up, I’ve always been an artistic person and I wasn’t willing to let that go in exchange for some office job. I’m looking for career paths right now that allow me to stay creative but at the same time also have some sort of impact on the world. The future is tech, and designing applications from a user point of view is very important. Or it could just be the logo of a highly influential company. All in all, I want to make a creative impact.

Meet Rosemary N. 

Iceland: Renewable Energy & Sustainability 
May 2017

University: The College of New Jersey
Major: Civil Engineering
Age: 20
Hometown: Perth Amboy, New Jersey 

cj31qzcnf002zwxi5xmlq996w 17796709 1302638733159999 5178418186705126414 n

Tell us more about your background & your day-to-day motivation? My life has given me many challenges and I’ve grown stronger from each. I live in an urban, lower-income city. I am a  first-generation American that is Hispanic/Latino, as well as a first-generation high school graduate and college student. In college, I major in Civil Engineering despite being a female in a male-orientated field…  [I’ve learned] to be independent and seek out all the necessary tools I would need to pursue the American dream and a better life while also being there for my family. Despite my identity and my life history, I am still strong!

What do you want to get out of your GREEN program experience? I would like to do a lot of growing in a personal way while participating in this program. I would love to expand my mind more, learn a lot, become more open minded, and definitely meet some inspiring and soulful people. I want to leave the program pumped and ready to take on the world and promote more sustainability across all topics and issue areas and with a network of fellow alumni that are not only supportive, but are willing to continue helping me unravel my mind more and process more new wonderful thoughts and ideas! And of course, I want to have some wonderful memories and adventures that enrich my soul.

Tell us why you rock! I’m awesome because I love the environment and it has helped me overcome a lot. Hiking, sailing, green tea, essential oils and fresh air have helped me overcome a severe anxiety and a personal toxicity I had within myself and other obstacles like being a first-generation high school graduate, college student and American! The words (of) integrity, independent, adventurous and open-minded best describe me.  I’m a proud social justice and environmental advocate and AmeriCorps member. I believe small acts can really change the world.

What are your career goals? I would like to be a civil engineer (with passing both FE and PE exams) as well as work on more sustainable infrastructure by design, efficiency, use of energy resources and the (recycled) materials used. I hope to keep up with my career in engineering as well as co-own a humanitarian cafe that will run on alternative energy while promoting more environmentally friendly foods and drinks while fostering a vibe that grounds and centers those that enter.

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