Throughout my Midwestern childhood, my family traveled to Michigan on the weekends to a little house in the woods, not far from Lake Michigan. I enjoyed exploring nature with my cousins, observing the diverse plants and animals in our backyard and picking flowers for our mothers. I discovered a unique feeling of serenity and calmness each time I was in the forest. When I was ten years old, I began to notice the trees thinning and my forest began to disappear, as developers cleared the neighborhood for new homes. This is the first memory I have of recognizing the human connection to the environment. This experience catalyzed my desire to engage in environmental advocacy and organizing.

When I left the Midwest to attend Emory in Atlanta, I chose to study Environmental Science and International Studies. However, my efforts to actively protect our environment began with urban farming. I learned about the benefits of urban agriculture and began volunteering at an Atlanta farm that donates its produce to homeless shelters. One summer, I worked for a nonprofit in Peru. Through engaging with community development efforts, like building improved cookstoves and organizing a women’s social enterprise, I promoted mitigation efforts. Throughout college, this effort expanded into collaborations with Emory’s Office of Sustainability (I was awarded Emory’s Robert S. Hascall Sustainability Innovator award this year!) and the Emory Climate Analysis & Solutions Team as well as an internship with Environment Georgia, where I advocated for clean air, clean water, clean energy and public spaces domestically. Now, as President of Emory’s College Council, I have the desire to make a lasting and meaningful change on campus. I strive to make a positive impact on the Emory experience and I am passionate about hearing, promoting, and representing the voices of my peer. This role has enabled me to pursue sustainability projects on campus. Obsessed with the outdoors, I am committed to protecting the environment and aspire to work in sustainable development policy.

This blog is an archive of my work for ENVS 326 (Climate Change & Society) and ENVS 426 (UN Climate Conference) from Fall ’17 semester.