AMBASSADORS

 

PGC 2020 FINALS

ISAAC AGUILAR

PGC 2017 Finalist, Berkeley, CA

Isaac Aguilar (he/him) is a junior at UC Berkeley pursuing a double major in Ecosystem Management & Forestry and Molecular Environmental Biology. He grew up around San Diego, California where he developed a love for the outdoors through hiking and camping with friends and family. He is a wildlife enthusiast and hopes to collaborate with diverse communities to develop management strategies that promote conservation. At Cal, Isaac is a peer advisor and active member of the environmental community. In his free time, Isaac enjoys any outdoor activities including backpacking and climbing. 

ALICE BEITTEL

PGC 2013 Finalist, Junior Officer, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Alice began her journey with Turning Green as a PGC 2013 Finalist during her junior year in high school. Since then, her passion for environmental science led her to graduate from the University of California, Davis with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management and a minor in Geographic Information Systems. As an outdoor and science enthusiast, Alice pursued a wide range of ecology research projects; from studying coral reef fish grazing behavior at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica to the ecological impacts of regulated river flows by hydropower dams in Utah and Colorado’s Dinosaur National Monument. With a growing academic focus in freshwater systems, Alice found herself living in rural northern Mongolia as an Ecology Research Assistant for the Mongolian American Aquatic Ecology Research Initiative where she assisted in social-ecological research investigating the impacts of hydropower development on river ecosystems and humans. During the academic year and summer breaks, she worked for two years as a Research Assistant at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, where she studied beaver dam analogue meadow restoration techniques in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. She served as Chair of the UC Davis student government’s Environmental Policy and Planning Commission and was the varsity coxswain for the UC Davis Women’s Rowing Team. Today, she serves as a Junior Officer in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Commissioned Officer Corps on the hydrographic research vessel, NOAA Ship Rainier. Alice is thrilled to return to Turning Green as a PGC 2020 Ambassador as PGC was the very experience that ignited her passion and confidence to pursue environmental science seven years ago.

Sunny Bitner

PGC 2018 Finalist, Lawrence, KS

Ruthie Burrows

PGC 2012 Finalist, CCRT Campus Rep, Volunteer, Minneapolis, MN

Ruthie is working on her PhD in Geography at the University of Minnesota, studying the impacts of climate change on agriculture and health.

“Turning Green set a precedent for how I think about my individual actions within the bigger picture of environmental degradation and climate change. I truly believe my experience with PGC served as a catalyst for living my life with intention, not only in regards to conscious lifestyle decisions but also in regards to my education and career.”

One word to describe Turning Green? Family!

HANSEL CARTER IV

PGC 2018 Finalist, Burlington, VT

Hansel Alexander Carter IV is a New York City born screenwriter, filmmaker, and digital marketing professional. Working in college departments of international education, residential life, student government, and sustainability over the last four years of his education, Hansel sought out the most environmentally-friendly options when it came to project planning for campus-wide events. He became a PGC Finalist with Turning Green in 2018 and graduated with a degree in filmmaking from Champlain College in 2020. His passion for the environment began in his middle school years living in India, analyzing the effects of water pollution in the Yamuna River. PGC honed his focus on fast-fashion and wildlife preservation. Hansel plans to incorporate themes of climate change and biodiversity in future screenplays. Hansel spends his time on film sets, reading mystery novels, and exploring natural wonders.

Brooke Crouch

PGC 2018 Finalist, CCRT Campus Rep, & Summer 2019 Intern, Charlottesville, VA

Brooke is a third year at the University of Virginia studying Global Environments + Sustainability and Environmental Science. She became involved with Turning Green in 2018 as PGC finalist, and was privileged to be a 2019 TG intern and 2019-20 PGC reader. Her passion for the environment began at a young age, spending every summer camping, hiking, and backpacking in National Parks across the country with her family. PGC taught her to take that passion and use it to make tangible, impactful change in her own life and in her community. After she graduates, she wants to work in the environmental nonprofit sector, with a special focus on sustainable, equitable food systems. She is passionate about living a low waste, plant based lifestyle, and loves talking to her friends and family about ways to lower their footprint and live a lower impact lifestyle. In her free time, Brooke enjoys camping and backpacking, vegan baking, reading, and yoga.

JENNY FANG

Product Manager, PGC Finalist 2015

Hi, I’m Jenny, a finalist from PGC class of 2015. It’s amazing to think that that was 5 years ago, because PGC was a starting point that led me on a long path of self-discovery, resilience, and activism. This experience helped me develop hard skills that enabled me to establish and institutionalize 5 sustainability initiatives throughout my college career. I graduated this year with an economics and electrical engineering degree and computer science minor. I currently am a product manager at a tech company.

 

MEGAN FUERST

PGC 2013 Finalist, CCRT Campus Rep, Summer Intern, Turning Green Staff, South Royalton, VT

Megan graduated from Vermont Law School and now works as a Program Assistant at the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, working to provide business planning and technical assistance to Vermont farmers to help them be more viable.

“My involvement with Turning Green MADE my journey forward; it created the path I’m on now in the most significant way. Turning Green helped me find my passion, my voice, and my individual power. It gave me the knowledge and resources necessary to rise up against the current industrialized system that operates against people and the planet in so many ways. Being part of Turning Green was the first time I truly felt part of a community.”

One word to describe Turning Green? Empowering!

Josephine Sparks

PGC 2019 Co-3rd Place, Junior, Bloomington High School South, Bloomington, IN

PGC PORTFOLIO VIDEO

Josie is a junior at Bloomington High School South. Born and raised in the Midwestern town of Bloomington, IN, she grew up on the lake at the Lake Monroe Youth Sailing Camp where she now work as a Certified Instructor, spent weeks in the woods at the McCormick’s Creek girl scout camp, and went to Bradford woods every summer for their kids Environmental Explorers program. She was a competitive gymnast for 8 years and has played viola for 6. She is a part of the Hoosier Youth Philharmonic and work in the St. Mark’s Nursery, taking care of the infants during services and meetings. She loves writing, especially poetry, and have been trying to find a field she is interested in to pair with my hobby as a career. Photography, stained glass, and orchestra are her favorite classes, and having a career in the arts is her ultimate dream.

 

What five words would best describe your PGC experience?

Momentous. metamorphic, enriching, enlightening, strenuous

 

Think about yourself pre-PGC, just 30 days ago, and then think about who you are today. How have your changed? What have you learned about yourself?

“I have always known that if I commit to something, I can’t let it go. PGC has just solidified that for me. There were days that I was tired, researching and writing and brainstorming at 2 in the morning, but I found that I didn’t care. There is a quote by Simon Sinek, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress, working hard for something we care about is called passion.”, and I think that that encompasses my thoughts around the challenge. I loved the way PGC challenged me to commit to a goal that I knew nothing about, and it made me realize that these issues are something that I have a passion for, truly care about, and want to pursue past the end of the challenge. I would stay up all night if I didn’t have to sleep if it meant I could make progress on any one of the issues that PGC focused on. I have learned that I had a hidden passion that could be my career, that these issues are so much more complex than I perceived them to be, and that I can meet standards higher than those I set for myself. I have gained an immense amount of confidence on these subjects, and I feel like I am a new person that sees the world differently.”

 

What was the most memorable aspect of PGC for you?

“Committing to PGC every day meant committing to spontaneity and interaction with my community. One day in particular, we went on a field trip for our APES class and were together when the challenge went live. It was the fashion get together. In twenty minutes, we had a plan to get together, bring snacks and drinks, watch the doc and have a discussion, and hang out afterwards. People I would never have put together wanted to come, and we had a party! The discussion that followed was amazing, and I would have never had it without the challenge prompt. Everyday I would text home what I needed to buy, what we needed to make or cook or draw, and my parents would change our schedule to accommodate that. Those were the most memorable moments for me, the moments where my whole day changed because I had something important to do! To some, that is stressful, but to me, it gave my day the interesting zing I needed to be productive and encouraged to work hard. I am not introverted, but not extroverted either, so being pushed to go out into my community was a very memorable experience because I don’t do it very often. Speaking in front of the school board, meeting with some of their members, and visiting the elementary school garden were three amazing experiences I would not have had without being challenged, and those were the most memorable moments.”

 

After 30 days of bold and brilliant work and newly acquired wisdom, how will you best put it to use? 

“I believe the best way to be a change-maker is to adopt a new idea and stick with it, however crazy it seems. You have to be willing to be bold and confident to put trust in the idea that you have the opportunity to be successful. I want to follow through with my action plan. Emails have already been sent out, messages have been written, our team is in place, and we have so many idea of what we each individually want to put into this project that there will be no waiting. Starting next trimester, I am going to be looking for a semi-permanent location for a club to meet and we will start with our own projects so we have examples for newcomers when we are more stable. We will be spending hours brainstorming, I am truly excited to get started on this project. Ultimately, the people participating now will be changing legislation in our county or country in the future. That thought is insane. I want to help it happen, and I intend to. Outside of the Climate Action Plan, I will be joining and possibly helping co-run our environmental club Sage within the next year, keeping them in close alignment with the non-profit so they have more freedom of choice on project ideas. I will also be decorating my room soon. I have been thinking of starting a YouTube channel about the non-profit, and might add in tips for how to make your room or space affordably Eco-friendly, how to cook cheap organic, and how to shop fair trade, all things I learned I had an affinity for through PGC! Maybe on the side I will attend protests and rallies, I always love a good change-making march. I have so many ideas!”

TRAVIS KWEE

PGC 2017 Finalist & CCRT Campus Rep, Sustainability Analyst on the Circular Economy team, Cisco, San Francisco. CA

Travis graduated from Rice University and works as a Sustainability Analyst on the Circular Economy team at Cisco. During the day he helps design products to be more easily reused, repaired, and recycled. Also during the day he’s an avid cyclist and regular volunteer at various food rescue non-profits. At night he sleeps, but not very much. “Turning Green helped me understand the interconnectedness of all environmental issues–from food waste to soil health to material use to climate change–that informs the way I spend all my waking hours.”

MISSY MARTIN

PGC 2015 Champion, CCRT Campus Rep, Summer 2016 Intern, Austin, TX

Missy Martin works in business development for the new circular economy platform, Loop. She loves supporting their mission – eliminating the idea of waste – and hopes to onboard many more brands to their zero waste model. Before Loop, she was the VP of Member Development for the Bay Area Environmentally Aware Consulting Network and also worked on the global growth and onboarding team at Tesla. In her free time, she volunteers her time working on climate justice issues with the Austin chapter of Climate Reality and also enjoys supporting her local food community. She graduated from UC Berkeley with highest distinction where she studied Society and Environment with a concentration in US Environmental Policy and Management. Missy is a long-time Turning Green supporter. She won PGC in 2015, interned for two years, and worked for a year as the organization’s Director of Happiness. 

Missy is on a lifelong journey of combining social innovation, sustainability, and equity to promote a thriving planet for present and future generations.

 

Sara Mira

PGC 2013 Finalist, Barcelona

Sara was born in Medellín Colombia, and grew up traveling through different natural reserves in her country, getting to know indigenous and peasant cultures. Later, Sara actively participated in several national campaigns in favor of the environment, the defense of water as a human right and the conservation of biodiversity. When she turned 18, Sara began her studies in Nutrition and Dietetics with an emphasis on administration and sociology at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. In 2018 Sara moved to Barcelona to continue her studies and understand the changes in food in different cultures giving her the opportunity to start a company with her husband that would rescue the ancestral traditions of food and manufacturing in elements such as ceramics in Mexico. Sara was a 2013 PGC Finalist and had the wonderful opportunity to continue spreading the word about Turning Green and PGC in Colombia up to this moment. Also she was an ambassador in the finals of 2014 and 2020 and hopping to continue being part of this amazing family for many more years.

SOPHIE MONIZ

PGC 2018 Finalist, Alexandria, VA

Sophie is currently a freshman at the University of Rhode Island studying marine biology and ocean engineering. She first got involved with Turning Green in 2018 when she was a PGC finalist. The TG community really inspired her to take action in her high school, where she founded the Marine Conservation Club, and in college, where she is a part of numerous sustainability and STEM organizations on campus. Sophie is an ambassador for PGC and is interning with TG this fall, which she hopes to continue throughout the spring. In her free time, Sophie loves to do anything outside, bake, and spend time with her friends and family.

Erin Mundorf

Environmental Educator, Ohio

Erin is an Environmental Educator. She got her degree from The Ohio State University in Environmental Engineering and Biology. She has worked as an Environmental Engineer conducting environmental assessments and leading on-the-ground ecological restorations for private consulting groups, The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, The Washington State Department of Transportation, and the City of Akron’s Watershed Division. She currently teaches High School Science in Akron, OH. She spends her free time volunteering for the Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association and leading a community garden at the Cuyahoga Falls Community High School.

 

Emeline Myung

Junior, Los Osos High School, Ontario, CA

When you first hear or learn about Project Green Challenge, you’ll often be gifted with a bountiful myriad of stories, all with the underlying sentiment of how life-changing the 30 days are – and I’m incredibly grateful to be one of those stories! Project Green Challenge helped me recognize the innate power each individual has in the actions they take, and the collective impact the youth has to secure a greener future. Each day I was empowered and motivated, and even a year later, I still am! Just like PGC promises, I was (and am!) informed, inspired, and mobilized. 

Danielle Schoen

PGC 2013 Finalist and Summer 2014 Intern, Asheville, NC

Danielle Nuala Schoen (Nuala) was a PGC finalist in 2014 and interned for Turning Green from 2014-2015. After completing her undergraduate degree in Integrative Studies: Social Justice in Education, Nuala went on to study social work at the graduate level, where she worked with veterans recovering from PTSD and substance use disorders. In addition to her passions for social justice and equity, Nuala has a deep love for the healing arts and is a licensed massage therapist, yoga instructor, and Reiki practitioner. Nuala lives in Asheville, North Carolina where she is self-employed as a massage therapist and regularly volunteers with local food justice nonprofit, Bounty and Soul. She is in the process of applying for multiple diversity, equity, and inclusion roles, as well as a local Masters of Public Health program, with the intention of weaving her passions together in order to work towards a radical redefinition of individual and community health and wellness.

Aradhya Seth

PGC 2018 Finalist , Bhopal, India

Aradhya’s experience with PGC was life-changing. Through his participation and experience he realized a sense of boundless potential. In the past two years, Aradhya has continued his engagement with ideas centered around the environment. Through Project Green Challenge, he learned a lot about the environment and sustainability. But that is just one side. The other thing I actually learned from the experience is that anything is possible. There are no limits. If you can think of something, you can actually do it.

TRACEY WINGATE

PGC 2015 Finalist, New York, New York

Tracey graduated from Skidmore College in 2018 with a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in Intergroup Relations. At Skidmore, she developed a passion for sustainable agriculture and believes strongly that everyone deserves access to healthy food. After studying food systems in Cuba, Alaska, and New York, Tracey completed an AmeriCorps service term with a food access organization in North Central Massachusetts. Currently, she is working at the Package Free Shop and interning at Slow Food USA in New York City.