Congratulations to the Project Green Challenge 2023 Finalists, an extraordinary group of 14 high school, college, and graduate students and their teams, representing eight countries: Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Indonesia, India, Iran, Mexico, Suriname, and the United States. We honor these inspired and mobilized young leaders.




Aftab Hekmat Shoar

Senior, Sedighe Kobra High School, Gonbad Kavous, Iran

Aftab is a dedicated and ambitious individual. Her commitment to sustainability is evident in her unwavering dedication to promoting eco-friendly practices. She firmly believes in the importance of education and raising awareness about sustainable living, as well as the preservation of nature and the health of our oceans and soil. As an active participant in the Project Green Challenge, Aftab has undergone a transformative journey and for the first time became aware of her ecological impact. Through involvement in the program, she has gained valuable knowledge about sustainable practices and wholeheartedly embraced the principles of green life. PGC has further empowered Aftab to become an advocate for a greener future, as she actively seeks ways to reduce her own ecological footprint and encourages others to do the same. Aftab has set her sights on becoming an aerospace engineer, driven by her passion for helping people and preserving the planet.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
Empowering, Impactful, Inspiring, Educational, and Transformative.

What was the most memorable aspect of PGC 2023 for you?
The most memorable aspect of PGC 2023 for me was the opportunity to share what I have learned with my friends and be active in spreading awareness through making videos. The challenge not only provided me with knowledge and motivation to make sustainable choices, but it also empowered me to become an advocate for the environment.

Aiden Son

Junior, Palo Alto Senior High School Palo Alto, California, USA

Aiden has a passion for the outdoors, engineering, and composting. As a member of his school’s eco club, Aiden is constantly seeking opportunities to reduce waste and educate his peers on environmental topics. Prior to taking part in Project Green Challenge, he established vermicomposting bins at a local middle school as part of his Eagle Scout project to promote environmental education in his community. Project Green Challenge was his opportunity to educate himself on a variety of environmental topics and learn how to make a difference.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
Fascinating, Educational, Challenging, Inspiring, and Transformative. 

What was the most memorable aspect of PGC 2023 for you?
Completing Project Green Challenge will leave me with lots of precious memories. Moments such as singing my heart out in the garage, writing a poem about the cost of fashion, showing my friends my produce pal, Eddie, painting a rock orchid with traditional Korean techniques, (I could go on and on) will be forever etched in my mind. Thank you.

Anni Zhao

Team Sustainabuddies, Junior, San Marino High School, San Marino, California, USA

Anni is a high school student with a strong passion for environmental science, chemistry, and STEM in general. She has gained environmental science knowledge from PGC 2023, and is looking forward to using the skills she improved on throughout the 30-day journey, such as campaigning, advocating, and planning, to implement changes for a greener, more sustainable future in her local San Marino community.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
Reflective, Meaningful, Contented, Refreshing, and Holistic. 

Has your participation in PGC impacted those around you in a positive way?
One of the many examples would be the day I ate an entire day of plant-based meals with my family as our meals are cooked together. At first they were skeptical if plants could satiate our appetite and provide enough nutrients, but after the day had ended they were just as pleasantly surprised as I was: The plant-based dishes were delicious, and tofu as an entree is just as filling and as a nutritious protein. We also saw a boost in our mental well-being that day, so they agreed to also partake in the one meatless day per week habit that I wanted to start building.

Azure Kordick

Senior, University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida, USA

Azure is a native of sunny South Florida and is currently pursuing her academic journey at the University of Central Florida. She is majoring in Event Management with a minor in Public Administration and Leadership, showcasing her dedication to effective organization and community engagement. Her passion for crafting, music, and environmental sustainability reflects her diverse talents and commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
Innovating, Challenging, Thought-Provoking, Rewarding, and Engaging. 

Think about your pre-PGC self, just 30 days ago, and then think about you, today. Have you changed?
Just 30 days ago, I was a person full of ambition but lacking the direction and the platform to channel my passion for environmental sustainability effectively. Today, I stand transformed and enlightened by the remarkable journey of Project Green Challenge. This experience has unveiled layers of my potential I never fully realized.

Brianna Akuamoah-Boateng

Team Water Buffalos, Senior, Poolesville High School, Poolesville, Maryland, USA

Teammates Brianna and Sophia are members of the Global Ecology Program at their high school where their courses are framed around subjects related to environmental science and social sciences. Throughout their time in this program, they have become leaders amongst fellow environmental activists, and act as a dynamic duo when taking part in initiatives like PGC. 

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
Meditative, Exciting, Fascinating, Stimulating, and Challenging. 

Think about your pre-PGC self, just 30 days ago, and then think about you, today. Have you changed?
Over the past 30 days the biggest change was my new ability to see the environment in everything I do. It’s not just about nature and trees but it’s in the way we build buildings and interact with one another. Also, as a team I think we’ve become closer friends! We have a reason to just talk every day, PGC related or not.

Conrado Manuel Guzman Flores

Team Los Aprendices, Graduate Student, Arizona State University, Mexico City, Mexico

While living and working in Mexico City, Conrado is pursuing his online Master’s degree focused on Sustainability Leadership at Arizona State University. An avid hiker and outdoor explorer, he, and his team Los Aprendices, are teaching others about the health benefits of hiking and the need to protect these landscapes. Conrado is most passionate about the conservation of surrounding forests and mountains to improve Mexico City’s welfare, and currently works in the sustainability, safety, health, and environment department of his company where he offers training to the agriculture division sales force, documents environmental legal permits on waste management and water, and participates in agriculture projects like a joint initiative to promote mixed crop systems for coffee growers in Mexico.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
Transformational, Self Discovery, Purpose, Eyeopening, and Hopeful. 

Think about your pre-PGC self, just 30 days ago, and then think about you, today. Have you changed?
Sometimes fear keeps us from challenging ourselves and be courageous. I didn’t have an IG account because I was afraid and was hiding that feeling with what I saw as reasonable arguments, but when on the second day I was asked to address politicians in Mexico, I had to overcome that fear. I’m less afraid now to challenge myself and rise my voice to tell others about my passion and why they should be passionate too. 

Daniel Cirimwami

Graduate Student, ISDR, Bakavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Daniel is a member of the PGC Campus Representatives team and has worked with the Turning Green team on global outreach to engage students in Project Green Challenge 2023. He is from South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is a graduate student in Commercial Sciences, studying at the Higher Institute of Rural Development in Regional Planning. Daniel is trained in environmental management and the promotion of biodiversity.  Since 2021, he has been president and community development coordinator of the XR-EXTECTION group, which is movement of young people committed to the protection of wetlands and the fight against deforestation. His passion is to work in green entrepreneurship and he is committed to promoting Project Green Challenge project in his country and the entire world. He currently volunteers with the ANU club of ISDR/BUKAVU, Association l’entrepreneuriat vert in his spare time, from where he is a supplier of reused plastic garbage cans and vegetables in the city of Bukavu.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
I, Am, Now, A, Leader. 

After 30 days of bold and brilliant work and newly acquired wisdom, how will you best put it to use?
The project has enabled me to better understand my place and my work as a young person in environmental management, I have to share my knowledge with other young people who already contact me for submitting articles that can help the community, I already work with young students in the management of plates and we plan to do more.

Gabrielle Fugate

Senior, Louisville Eastern High School, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Gabrielle has spent the last 30 days completely immersing herself in the themes of climate change. She has delved into research on a variety of topics and come up with creative solutions, ideas, and works of art that support the movement to combat climate change. When not working on Project Green, she works at a Fair Trade, USDA Organic certified coffee shop She encourages employees and customers to recycle their cups, pointing out the symbol on the lids when asked if they really are recyclable! She loves to read and write, especially about stuff she has a passion for, which is why Project Green was the perfect challenge for her. With an acceptance into the University of Southern Mississippi to major in Marine Biology, she aims to use this career to not only learn about the amazing life of the ocean, but also what she can do to save and explore it!

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
Immersive, Eye-opening, Beginning, Innovative, and Changing. 

After 30 days of bold and brilliant work and newly acquired wisdom, how will you best put it to use?
I will set an example for my friends, family, coworkers, and classmates. I will also continue to create ideas and encourage ideas to create a change in the various systems that continue in an unsustainable manner. I will speak up and use my voice to connect with people and present the facts and ideas. I will get involved with climate groups in my area to continue my knowledge and make connections to establish myself as an environmental advocate/worker. I will push for the ideas I believe in and how they will create a positive change.

Manfred Lim

Team Path to 2030, Junior, Jericho High School, Jericho, New York, USA

Manfred is a member of Team Pathto2030. With a focused interest in sustainability and earth science, Manfred has taken steps to contribute to the field. Researching at Cornell University, he has utilized machine learning techniques to predict global soil respiration rates. Outside of his academic pursuits, Manfred is an avid gardener with over nine years of experience in his own backyard. He joined Project Green Challenge alongside teammates Samyra Mahiba, Kimberly Wang, and Katherine Lee, with the aim of increasing awareness on both the international and community level. Looking ahead, Manfred aspires to launch his own environmentally-friendly business, aiming to contribute to a more sustainable future in the business world.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?
Enlightening, Inspiring, Memorable, Bonding, and Exciting.

What was the most memorable aspect of PGC 2023 for you?
The most memorable aspect of PGC 2023 for us was the new connections we’ve made. When our group members came together for projects such as cooking or hiking, we strengthened bonds and forged new ones during unique situations. One such example was the making of one of our submissions for the outdoors challenge. We spontaneously decided to go on a nature hike in a forest by the harbor, without any preparation whatsoever. It was some of our group members’ very first time on a hike, so the experience was especially memorable. In the end, PGC has turned out to be both an educational and bonding experience for our whole team.


Senior, Hasanuddin University, Luwu Timur, Indonesia

A First Generation College Student (FGCS) from a small village in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Samintang is a multifaceted individual; taking on roles as a leader, speaker, content creator, social entrepreneur, researcher, full-time worker, peer educator trainer, environmental advocate, accounting student, and coach for public storytelling. She is driven by a deep passion for advocating on behalf of vulnerable populations, particularly women, children, and the environment. Her aspirations include becoming a change agent, public sector leader, and CSR-Sustainability expert, aiming to disrupt inequitable systems and advocate for environmental justice.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?

Transformative, Inspirational, Educational, Empowering, and Memorable. 

Has your perception of the world around you changed? If so, share how.

One of the most significant changes in my perception is related to the interconnectedness of global issues. PGC prompted me to explore topics like climate change, biodiversity loss, plastic pollution, and sustainable agriculture. As I delved into these subjects, I began to see how they are not isolated problems but interconnected components of a broader ecological crisis. I now understand that addressing one issue requires considering its impact on others. This holistic view has made me more conscious of my daily choices and their ripple effects on the environment.

Shahed Anan Sajeeb

Junior, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Sajeeb is a third-year student pursuing a B.Sc. honors degree in Environmental Sciences. Originally hailing from the Panchagarh district in the Rangpur division, Sajeeb’s academic journey is marked by a passion for environmental stewardship. Beyond academics, he is a multifaceted individual with a passion for music, dancing, and content creation on social media. His commitment to environmental causes is evident through his roles as an executive member of the Nature Conservation Initiative. This dynamic blend of academic focus, environmental advocacy, and creative pursuits defines Sajeeb’s journey as a conscientious student and an active participant in making positive contributions to his community and beyond.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience
Transformative, Inspirational, Educational, Empowering, and Sustainable. 

Has your perception of the world around you changed?
The challenge opened my eyes to the interconnectedness of all living things and the impact of our choices on the planet. I now see the environment as a dynamic system deeply affected by individual actions. Each sustainable decision, whether it’s choosing local produce or reducing single-use plastics, feels like a meaningful contribution to a larger, global movement.

Shawn Stolting

Senior, Polytechnic College Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname

Shawn, an electrical engineering student, embraces all challenges as opportunities for personal growth and development. Apart from his academic pursuits at Polytechnic College Suriname, Shawn possesses a creative side as an artist employed at a prominent datacenter in Suriname where he serves as a web developer. Taking part in Project Green Challenge transformed and expanded Shawn’s awareness and passion for climate justice. He is now not only fully conscious of the critical issues surrounding climate justice but also committed to becoming a change-maker, advocating for his beloved country, Suriname.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience
Discipline, Consistency, Changemaker, Late-nights, and Knowledge. 

What kept you motivated to get to the final day of PGC?
The prizes were a great motivator, but what truly kept me going was a rule I set for myself two years ago. I made a decision to change my mindset. When I commit to something, I give it my all, and I never give up or back down. This approach has helped me build a lot of discipline, and it’s what kept me on this journey. In the 2 years, my life has changed a lot, but positively. That is why I’m ready to face any challenge and go out of my comfort zone.

Sao Mai Tara Jessop Nguyen

Team 50 Shades of Green, Junior, Greengates School, Naucalpan, Mexico

Sao Mai is a Vietnamese-Mexican-British student at Greengates, an International-British School in Mexico City in her first year of the International Baccalaureate Diploma. As a child, Sao Mai developed a deep interest in environmental issues when she learned about the plight of her favorite animals – the polar bears. Knowing that her peers often worry endlessly about the state of her future, Sao Mai opts to serve as a source of knowledge and inspiration. Sao Mai firmly believes that every action she undertakes contributes significantly to creating a more sustainable world, and hopes to be able to use her privilege to aid those disproportionately and unjustly affected by environmental issues.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?Educational, Inspiring, Fun, Challenging, and Revealing. 

Has your perception of the world around you changed? If so, share how.
I have noticed that I genuinely perceive the world differently. Particularly in the way I consume. Before Project Green, I was quite pessimistic about Climate Change and thought that it made no real difference in how I consumed. And, while it remains true that the fault does not rely on the consumer, we still hold a certain degree of responsibility. Why shouldn’t I choose a more ethically sourced sunscreen? I notice that I tend to look at labelling more, that I refrain from buying items that I do not need, and that I get curious and research the production of certain brands and where they source their ingredients and labour. 

Yash Joshi

Team Flauna Coenose, Sophomore, Jaipur Engineering College and Research Centre, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Yash is a member of Team Flauna Coenose, a passionate group of BTech students from Jaipur, India. Members of this team are engineering majors who hold a collective vision of a greener, more equitable planet. Arnav’s innovative thinking has consistently pushed the boundaries of sustainability, encouraging them to explore creative solutions as a team. Yash’s unwavering commitment to eco-conscious practices remind his teammates that small actions can have large impacts. Vinit’s exceptional problem-solving skills enable the trio to turn ideas into actionable solutions. In their free time, Yash has a keen interest in sports, reading, and writing. Arnav Goyal is passionate about animation and graphics, while Vinit Kumar Sharma excels in writing poetry.

What are five words that describe your PGC experience?Ecstasy, Bliss, Cognizance, Revolutionize, and Sustainable. 

What was the most memorable aspect of PGC 2023 for you?
It was the first time, we participated in an international competition so the thrill and the hunger to change the world to create a brighter future was the most memorable one. What struck to me the most was the collective passion and commitment of the participants. The PGC challenges inspired the people from different background, culture and country who shared a same purpose — addressing Climate Mitigation.