I've always wanted to have a career in sustainability, and to do something that makes the world smarter, greener, and healthier!
What is your story? What doesn't your resume tell us about you?
I love meeting people from different cultures and exploring new places and ideas. I spent two summers in Germany taking classes, doing research, and travelling and, of course, also spent an incredibly transformative week with The Green Program. I have a strong belief that bonds between people are the strongest and most important kind, and that there is so much to be learned from the collective knowledge of the world. I think the most beautiful and revolutionary things are hidden in the insignificant times and places, and that when we can learn to change our lenses we can enact real change.
Describe your dream job or career.
I haven't managed to dream up one career to beat them all as of yet, but I am passionate about any career that combines innovation and design with sustainability or environmental work! I am considering working in the agricultural or energy sectors, but haven't ruled out environmental or outdoor education or any of many other smaller whims. I know I will thrive in a career where I work with a variety of people and can see firsthand the impact my work is making! I also would be happy to have a job that allows me to travel to other places near or far! I am fascinated by many subjects and love learning about new things, so my dream job has more qualifications to do with the work environment and relatively few considering the exact subject of the work.
Tell us about your leadership experiences.
Since starting at the University of Arizona, I have been involved in an organization called Camp Wildcat, whose mission is to provide cost-free camping trips for underserved youth in the Tucson area to promote higher education and personal success as attainable goals as well as to grow the next generation of environmental stewards and enthusiasts. In the last 4 years with Camp Wildcat, I have been on 25 weekend long camps and have directed three of these camps with two co-directors. Camps have between 25 and 60 kids and about the same number of counselors and the directors' job is to plan the entire 48 hour adventure! I have also served on the board of this incredible organization for the last three years, as Community Relations Chair for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years, and as Chairperson for the 2016-2017 school year. As Community Relations chair I coordinated Camp Wildcat's relations with the public, including applying for many grants and raising over $16,00 for Camp Wildcat. As Chairperson I have had the honor of leading Camp Wildcat through a year of camps, fundraising, and organizational development that I would dare to say has been nothing short of incredible.
Describe a personal experience that has directly or indirectly influenced your career path.
I grew up working and riding horses at an urban farm in Denver, CO that offered this sort of opportunity to kids who lived far from farms and ranches, from where animals live outside houses and where food is grown. Taking classes, volunteering, and working at The Urban Farm for a combined total of thousands of hours shaped my mindset on the environment, but more importantly, the way the way humans and the environment interact, and how those interactions can be improved. My wide variety of experiences there, from working with kids from ages 3-18, to working with plants (in the ground and in greenhouses) and animals (unruly and tame), began to shape my views on what could be done to educate the world about ways to live in more symbiotic relationships with the world around us, and how we can do so in a way that acknowledges all of the moving beings and moving parts of a 7.4 billion and growing world.
What is the biggest take-away and/or favorite part of your GREEN Program experience?
Favorite part is always an extremely tough question for an experience like this. My biggest takeaway was definitely a new feeling of a community that I hadn't known existed before with a group of amazing people across the world that are working towards a more sustainable future in all sectors. Getting to know all of the incredible people on my program in the beautiful environment of Iceland was an overarching favorite part.
Tell us about your Capstone project experience and your journey, your team, the ideation and implementation.
My Capstone project was a plan for a youth education program to encourage sustainable mindsets in intercity youth through projects like building and running a greenhouse. Our team bonded early on based on a passion for inspiring sustainability in youth, and our Capstone development experience could best be described as a whirlwind. Before we knew it, we had more ideas than we knew what to do with, and we ended up with a plan for an initial development phase, pilot program, and an expansion. We wanted to target elementary through high school youth with an after-school and summer program and give them the opportunity to take design and leadership roles in the development of sustainable projects for their community.
How will you use this experience to advance your personal goals?
The Green Program also showed me how sustainability and renewable energy can be integrated into something that really does work and provide for basically all of the energy needs of a nation. This gave me the drive to pursue this goal (however long or hard the path may be) for other communities and countries. This experience also gave me the motivation to pursue the creation of a startup for-profit or non-profit organization if I feel a pull to a gap that needs to be filled. Prior to The Green Program I had never seriously considered working for a startup, but this program showed me how the green revolution is taking place in areas that I hadn't realized, and made me more excited than anything to join!
Where and when would you go in a time machine? Why?
Any place in the world before civilization settled in a permanent way in that location, to feel what it would be like to live somewhere when the earth really felt like an unfathomably large and wild being. And/or 1920s/30s Jazz Era :)