Who Am I?


Aug 2, 2019

This is part of a summer blog series written by an anonymous member of our alumni community. The opinions expressed here are independent of GREEN Program and do not necessarily represent the views of our organization.* 

Good morning, afternoon, or evening. It me. The anonymous blogger. Probably, The next guest on David Letterman’s ‘My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.’ Blog boi.

I go by many names, but my birth certificate says Christopher Casey (more commonly known as CJ Casey). 

I was a member of the illustrious Iceland Summer 2018 trip and in the simplest, most cliche way possible: it changed my life. I was on a path to graduate from UIC with an Electrical Engineering degree in pursuit of working for a tech company or something like that, I think? Idk, let’s be honest, who actually thinks they have it figured out their last few years of college. I thought I had it all figured out. Then I spent 10 incredible days in Iceland.

cjze73rx705cpkhi5jyk9iz9m pasted image 0 8
cjze75qnl05dekpi5b3p0peos pasted image 0 7

I went through some sort of Disneyesque clock-striking-midnight transformation.

I became a much more confident, motivated, and ~woke~ human. During my trip I started up a blog and fell in love with writing. I began blogging to document my TGP experience and 10 days later I was ready to spread my newfound knowledge of eco-green nerdiness with the world. I developed an interest in green-tech and completed a design project utilizing the piezoelectric effect to convert mechanical stress into clean energy.

Fast forward not even 365 days post-Iceland and I was organizing a symposium on environment, energy, and sustainability as well as hosting a future of climate change and energy conference (both of which The GREEN Program’s CEO, Melissa Lee, was so gracious to attend and participate).  

cjze79paa05eqkpi53b7j1vuj pasted image 0 10
cjze7eadl05fpkpi53zjhgpfz screen shot 2019 08 16 at 10 23 45 am

After this summer I will have officially completed two tours of duty as a GREEN Program Ambasador and I couldn’t be more appreciative of them. The GREEN Program is a huge reason I am where I am today. They gave me the incredible opportunity to experience Iceland. They gave me a platform to speak the good word of our Mother Earth. But, most importantly, they gave me the opportunity to potentially change someone’s life with The My Way Scholarship.

As a Summer Ambassador I am setting up a scholarship to so that someone who has been true to their genuine self can experience what I did in Iceland. Read more about the My Way Scholarship here. 

“If you’re not making someone else’s life better, they you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.” – Will Smith 

To all of you who read up to this point, are reading every week, are reading on and off, or reading for the first time, thank you so much for your time and I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them. You should check out my content from past weeks here: It’s an Alumni TakeoverGreta Thunberg: The Face of Climate ActionWhat is GreenwashingAre you Recycling Right?Hot in the Streets: CompostingThere’s more behind conservation than just recycling and clean energyThe Truth Behind RenewablesUnderstanding the Insect Apocalypse.

If there is anything you want me to write about or if you have any questions please reach out! I would love to interact with all of you readers! Reach out on Twitter (@ccasey3320), Instagram (@ccasey3320), or email ([email protected])! 


(Okay, now I have to brag about my time in Iceland with my favorite people, via pictures. Enjoy!)

cjze7tdal05hykpi5asfr71bz pasted image 0 11
cjze7ub7205hnkhi52iseykvz pasted image 0 12
green program
cjze7w9dp05j5kpi5f09bkdfk pasted image 0 14
green p iceland
green p iceland 2

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