"You are the future for the environment and have the power to make a difference! You are amazing!"
What's your story? What doesn't your resume tell us about you?
Ever since my sophomore year in high school during which I had the opportunity to travel to Tanzania with my Girl Scout Troop, I have been fascinated by travel. I have learned that there is so much to be experienced outside of one’s own home—and so much to understand about people and their interactions with their environments. The more I travel, the more inspired I am to make a difference not only in the U.S., but in other countries around the globe.
How do you want to leave your impact on the world, speaking of?
My goal in life is to be a key player in creating and implementing progressive energy reform that will significantly mitigate climate change. I want to be actively involved in environmental policy and increase awareness about critical climate-related issues. I would also like to increase awareness about the positive impacts that reducing energy consumption and pollution can have on society. I am currently working on a children’s book that will be released at the end of 2017 that does just that!
Why do you believe that you are the next-generation pioneer of your industry?
Not enough people are invested in renewable energy—particularly new and innovative forms. Because of my passion to learn about how renewable energy is created and my drive to push forward, I believe I will make a significant difference in helping societies transition to using a greater amount of renewables.
Tell us about your leadership experiences:
Much of my leadership began in the later years of high school. My passion for the environment helped me push through my fears and take on projects including teaching two elementary school classes on endangered species and being elected as the National Honors Society and school Vice President. During college, this leadership expanded to encompass numerous environmental positions, including being a SPARC fellow, School of Arts and Sciences Student Sustainability Association Class of 2016 Representative, Greenbuild Conference event planner, and more. I do my best to lead by example.
So, what is your dream job?
My career goal is to become a leader in influencing energy policy. This could include becoming the Administrator of the EPA or the Chief Operating Officer of NYSERDA. On the side, I would also like to run an environmentally conscious cupcake shop that donates a portion of its proceeds to assisting individuals displaced by climate change.
How has The GREEN Program played a role in shaping your professional career endeavors?
Because of the GREEN Program, I have decided to focus my career more towards renewable energy and pursue an MS in environmental engineering. I have also been able to develop a clear understanding of geothermal systems and the work that is necessary to implement and maintain them.
Tell us about your Capstone Project initative:
I came into The GREEN Program with an interest in geothermal energy and a desire to learn more about its capability for implementation around the world. Through the GREEN Program, I was able to greatly expand my knowledge of geothermal energy and the geographic features necessary for a large-scale plant to be built. After the program, I have had the opportunity to follow up with the largest energy producer in Kenya and am currently speaking with them about building a geothermal plant in the location that our Capstone team found environmentally, economically, and socially suitable.
I am using my Capstone project findings to create real-world change to increase the use of renewable energy in a country that uses primarily fossil fuels to obtain its electricity.
What is your best piece of advice that you would give to a student interested in sustainable development?
Keep going despite the obstacles in your way! There will always be people who will try to undermine your work and question your motives. Do not let this bother you — the world needs you!