Néstor Villegas Alarcon

Champion, Team Rua Uni, Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria, Lima, Peru


Néstor Villegas Alarcon, Milagros Rojas Lock, Alberto Rodríguez Bautista, José Hinostroza Gonzales

Néstor is a civil engineering student at the National University of Engineering in Lima, Peru. He is oriented toward environmental justice, raising awareness about the environment, volunteering and critical problems that affect us and the planet. He loves to train in martial arts, play soccer and be in nature above all. Milagros is an environmental engineering student, passionate about environmental education and always participating in various environmental causes. She likes to travel, sing, dance and swim in the ocean, her favorite place. Alberto is a fourth year mechatronics engineering student and coordinates many activities to promote environmental conservation. José is a junior and leads the environmental volunteering group RUA Perú UNI. After PGC, the team knows that even though the earth is facing many pressing issues, solutions to change behavior, industry and policy are within reach. They are focused on environmental education to promote critical thinking and sustainable practices among agents of change at the university and beyond.


Five words to describe PGC: demanding, innovative, continuous learning, enjoyable, teamwork


Addie Foote

2nd Place, Team SAHS, Stillwater Area High School, Stillwater, MN


Addie Foote, Claire Abbott

Addie and Claire are juniors at Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota. Passionate about the environment, they enjoy being outdoors, hike, bike, kayak and co-founded an environmental conservation club at the start of this year before strengthening their commitment throughout Project Green Challenge. PGC changed their lives and flipped the perspectives they hold on themselves, their community, the world, climate change and human rights issues. Planning to later enter the STEM field, including biology and environmental sciences, the high school students plan to implement an on-site solar energy and efficient technology project at their school and throughout the district, using and sharing newfound information to challenge conventional thought and systems.

Five words to describe PGC: motivational, transformative, rewarding, enlightening, relevant


Ethan Bledsoe

3rd Place, West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School
West Lafayette, IN


Ethan is a junior at West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School in Indiana. He is passionate about fighting the climate crisis and has dedicated nearly all of his young life to solving it, starting local initiatives like West Lafayette Climate Strikes, West Lafayette Students for Climate Action, and the statewide campaign Confront the Climate Crisis. Through his work as a climate activist, he has seen first-hand the interconnected climate injustices his and other communities face. A transformational Project Green Challenge journey opened his eyes to numerous different areas of sustainability, the importance of community involvement and sharing in all work, as well as his ability to utilize both STEM and creative skills in ongoing advocacy, career pursuits and development of his PGC climate action project, the Climate Resiliency Coalition. CRC would help communities around the world prepare for the incoming climate crisis and protect their most vulnerable people, which is a clear priority for Ethan.

Five words to describe PGC: inspiring, motivational, impactful, transformational, eye-opening

Elise Gard

Honorable Mention, University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS


Elise is a junior at the University of Kansas and Environmental Studies major, minoring in both Spanish and Social Justice. She is really passionate about the environment, working with a school garden project called Growing Food Growing Health for seven years and at Monarch Watch, which promotes the preservation of pollinators throughout the United States. In her free time, she loves cooking, making art, and admiring her house plants. She entered Project Green Challenge trying to be eco-conscious, but not really knowing how to do so. Now, she looks for ways to do everything more sustainably and doesn’t want to stop learning or making change in her community and seeks to craft a career around environmental justice and working toward a safe, sustainable future.

Five words to describe PGC: life-changing, motivational, profound, memorable