After growing up in a small, progressive town, I don’t think I truly understood the global climate crisis until I was released, aka went to college, from what felt like my bubble. I was shocked, and unpleasantly surprised, about how common daily practices for me, such as recycling, using reusable water bottles or shopping local, were totally foreign thoughts to many of my new peers. After getting over my initial frustration, a desire to inspire change came over me and is ultimately what has driven my passions and academics ever since.
This past fall I had the opportunity to further my studies in Athens, Greece for four months and let me tell you, it was an even larger (from my initial shock of going to college) eye opening experience. Studying and immersing myself in the environmental justice issues within the city allowed me to see first hand the expansiveness and globality of climate change. Connecting the dots, and seeing the intersectionality between social and environmental injustices only increased my commitment to the field.
Returning to Connecticut from Athens, I obviously didn’t want my passions to end in the classroom, which is what led me to an internship at Second Nature. I was fascinated by Second Nature’s mission, and after seeing first hand how unsustainable higher education institutions can be, I realized the importance of organizations like Second Nature and knew I wanted to be involved.
I love the work I have done thus far in the environmental field because I feel the purpose and great importance behind it. Being able to wake up everyday and work on projects, or study something that is working towards making systematic change is entirely rewarding. Not only do I enjoy being part of change, but I also get to learn and work with so many different people bringing a variety of new perspectives and outlooks to my attention.
Thus far, one of my favorite parts of being on the team at Second Nature is that I get the chance to work alongside people from different backgrounds, who have come together to try and solve a common problem. Having the chance to be a part of a workplace filled with people who share my passion for the environment is up lifting. I admire that Second Nature’s network has given the higher education industry a platform to hold themselves accountable and be a part of the complex fight against climate change.
One of my biggest takeaways, through all my experiences in the environmental field, and now at Second Nature, is perseverance. There can be moments working in this field that feel hopeless, but I have learned to never give up and to keep fighting for what I believe in because change is possible! I’m so fortunate for the opportunity to work with such an organization and although I don’t know exactly what the future has in store for me, I’m excited to keep pushing for change.