The PGC Finals is perhaps the most inspiring and mobilizing four-day summit of its kind, empowering students to action with purpose and passion. The event introduces Finalists to an esteemed group of diverse eco leaders and lifelong friends from all over the world.


Brielle Taubenblatt

Junior, Winston Churchill High School
Potomac, MD


Brielle is a junior at Winston Churchill High School in Maryland. She has always had an interest in science, volunteering at a kids’ hands-on science museum, participating in the Catching a Wave Planetary Wave Project, and receiving the Girls in Technology STEM Education Experience Scholarship. In her free time, she likes to hike, cook, read books, and learn languages, currently studying Spanish and American Sign Language. Project Green Challenge taught Brielle how to act on her passion for the environment, pushing her out of her comfort zone to further change actions, reduce impact, recognize global impacts, speak up on issues, and now inspire even younger leaders around positive change and sustainable living through climate education.

Five words to describe PGC: educational, impactful, unique, transformative, inspiring

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

Cami Child

Junior, Granada Hills Charter School
Granada Hills, CA


Cami is a junior at Granada Hills Charter High School. In ninth grade, she began to explore the problems that humans cause in nature and the ways the planet is becoming sick because of those actions, going vegan after discovering the negative effects of the meat and dairy industry on the environment, health and welfare. She has participated in clubs, her school’s Envirothon team to apply science to real-life management and conservation, and now Project Green Challenge to learn more about environmentalism, consciously shift behavior, limit waste, especially food waste, and take part in impactful actions for the good of the planet, while influencing family and friends to do the same.

Five words to describe PGC: informative, empowering, shocking, influential, exciting


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


Harmonie Ramsden

Junior, Princeton High School
Princeton, NJ


Harmonie became involved in climate activism in sixth grade and has participated in many facets of ecological preservation ever since. She serves on the leadership boards of New Jersey Student Climate Advocates, New Jersey Youth for Climate Action, and Students for International Divestment. Harmonie is also the New Jersey and LGBTQ+ High Schoolers for Biden Co-Lead, as well as a leader in Princeton High School’s yearbook and Students Demand Action clubs. Someday, Harmonie hopes to double major in Journalism and International Affairs, studying in a big city somewhere around the world. PGC has motivated Harmonie to focus on the many intersectional aspects of climate change and integrate the issues meaningfully into daily thought processes, driving powerful change beyond the too common surface-level solutions that don’t mitigate the crisis or place focus where it is needed.

Five words to describe PGC: enlightenment, justice, collaboration, changemaker, sustainable

Kat Nguyen

Senior, Carlmont High School
Belmont, CA


Kat is a senior at Carlmont High School in Belmont, California. Since her freshman year, she’s been involved in the school Green Team and has now been elected Co-President, establishing a tri-bin system and spreading awareness about environmental issues. She also is involved in Girl Scouts, plays the varsity tennis and dive teams, and enjoys yoga, bullet journaling, and calligraphy in her spare time. Every single day of Project Green Challenge had a lasting imprint in developing Kat’s conscious mindset and providing new ideas and hope, which she will take forward with optimism, eco action, proactivity and collaborative spirit to spark change and address the climate crisis, especially as it affects the most marginalized communities.

Five words to describe PGC: unforgettable, empowering, productive, impactful, transformative


Nicole Cifuentes

Senior, Glenelg High School
Glenelg, MD


Nicole is a senior at Glenelg High School in Maryland and president of the environmental club. She is super involved in band and loves science, hoping to have a career in biology or environmental science. Project Green Challenge was the perfect ‘crash course’ on all things environment for Nicole, making her feel like she was part of something bigger, learning new things, applying those learnings, becoming more sustainable, getting comfortable leading and educating others. She now believes in herself and unique ability to make a difference among family, friends, classmates and the world.

Five words to describe PGC: eye-opening, meaningful, challenging, remarkable, informative

Paulina Elizalde

Freshman, Universidad de las Américas Puebla
Puebla, Mexico


Paulina is a freshman at Universidad de las Américas Puebla in Mexico, majoring in Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering. She is in love with her country and all of the different natural areas spread through its territory. Sadly, this natural beauty is endangered by social and political problems, insecurity, corruption, and authority abuse. Paulina has transformed throughout Project Green Challenge, learning so much about the environment and gaining a deeper understanding of how to apply knowledge to enact positive change for nature and communities, especially indigenous peoples across her country. In her free time, she likes to read, play the violin and ukulele, sing, dance, do musical theatre, and exercise. She is a passionate person who rarely gives up, works hard for her dreams and is in constant search of knowledge and adventure.

Five words to describe PGC: life-changing, humbling, ineffable, inspirational, motivational

Samantha Lee

Junior, Arroyo High School
San Lorenzo, CA


Samantha is a 16-year old Chinese-American born in San Francisco and raised in San Leandro. She is a junior at Arroyo High School, where she is vice president and co-founder of the environmental club. Outside of school, she has been playing piano for 9 years and interns at a Bay Area nonprofit to educate others about domestic violence and social justice issues, especially in the Asian Pacific Islander community. In her free time, she likes to play around in Photoshop, draw, read, explore the Bay with friends, and try new foods! Project Green Challenge strengthened Samantha’s understanding of climate issues, shifted her perspective of how intertwined the environment is with everything in life, connected her with global mission-aligned peers, and made her more confident in her ability to pass on knowledge to others as an aware, involved, vocal changemaker.

Five words to describe PGC: marathon, empowering, interconnected, energizing, illuminating


Team Climate Crew 2020

Sophomores and Juniors, Jericho High School
Jericho, NY


Angela Zhu, Lily Li, Kevin Zhu, Naann Shao

Climate Crew 2020 is a team composed of four high school students in Long Island, New York. Angela, Lily, Kevin and Naann met through science research and have become much closer through Project Green Challenge. Angela is a junior who loves to travel to beautiful natural locations and explore various cultures and languages. Even during the pandemic, you can find Angela and her family on hikes, walking the beach, and taking late night strolls with their puppy. Lily, also a junior, is a Chinese-Canadian who moved to the United States from Ontario freshman year. She is passionate about social justice and using science, technology, and coding to create a positive impact on the world. In her free time, Lily loves to rock climb, read historical fiction, and attempt to care for her two struggling houseplants. Naann is a sophomore who loves to spend her time listening to music in the rain while pursuing one of her numerous hobbies, such as drawing, writing, reading, working for various nonprofit organizations or baking. She’s continuously inspired by the natural scenery around her, from the smallest mushroom to distant clouds. Kevin is a sophomore passionate about science research, music and writing. He often spends his time writing poetry, jamming on the piano, and working on various projects in hopes of creating something of meaning to the world. PGC has been a springboard for these young leaders to create substantial changes for a more sustainable society, pushing themselves to fight for climate action and making significant contributions to the environmental movement, unafraid to use their newfound knowledge and voice to advocate for nature, for delicate ecosystems, for vulnerable communities, for what is right.

Five words to describe PGC: eye-opening, invigorating, inspirational, educational, life-changing

Team Four Leaf Clovers

Sophomores and Juniors, Jericho High School
Jericho, NY


Wenhao Ren, Hanson Xuan, Chloe Zhang, Ashwin Narayanan

Wenhao is a sophomore at Jericho High School. He is the representative of Team Four Leaf Clovers. Growing up, he always had a connection with nature. Ever since he could remember, his father has been taking him outside to explore the natural world. Whether hiking, fishing, or camping, almost every weekend was an adventure with his brother and father. As time passes and as he grows older, he still wants to continue the tradition of going outside and having fun with his family and hopefully, one day with his children. Therefore, he is extremely passionate about climate change. He, along with many others, wants to share the beauty of nature with other people. Project Green Challenge has helped him realize how much daily commodities and luxuries impact the environment and the climate. PGC has allowed him to understand what actions to take to become more environmentally friendly. As an advocate, his climate action project will help to educate others on the urgent importance of environmental action through a variety of approaches for maximum reach and influence.

Five words to describe PGC: change, enlightenment, enjoyable, effortful, rewarding


Team Greecofriendly

Seniors, Marathwada University
Aurangabad, India


Mrinmayee Warode, Rahul Sindhani

Mrinmayee is a college senior studying chemical technology in India, representing Team Greecofriendly. She is a proactive student leader engaged in various activities around sustainability, who has not only become eco-conscious throughout Project Green Challenge, but also now understands the importance of influencing others to adopt those principles in day to day life. She sees the urgency in protecting the planet and values the health of every organism, ready to take a stand, cast a vote and make a difference for climate justice and a safe, sustainable future.

Five words to describe PGC: adventure, knowledge, mitigation, involvement, implementation

Team Green Gang Colombia

Sophomores, Colegio Nueva Granada
Bogota, Colombia


Ivana Florez, Shambhavi Gupta, Mariana Hincapie

Green Gang is a group composed of Ivana Flores from Honduras, Shambhavi Gupta from India and Mariana Hincapie from Colombia, students from different parts of the world coming together to try to make a change in their communities through a school organization and Project Green Challenge. Dancing, playing tennis, reading, horseback riding, spending time with our families, and having contact with nature keep them going. Before PGC, they wanted to effect change, but did not know how to do it and felt like the “moment of changing the world” would never arrive — because they had to finish school, go to college, and, only with a degree, could then change the world. But they knew that would be too late, so decided to invest time now in advocacy. PGC not only transformed their lives, but has provided lifelong motivation to find solutions, teach others, create projects and fight for the world and collective future.

Five words to describe PGC: informing, exciting, thankful, ambitious, proud


Team Rua Uni

Third and Fourth Years, Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería
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



Juniors, Stillwater 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


Team Swag Only Certified Freak

Seniors, Olympian High School
Chula Vista, CA


Quincie Bump, Samara Rodgers, Judith Martinez, Nathaniel Cabrera

SOCF are a group of four teens from California who are students at Olympian High School. The diverse team consists of bold, innovative changemakers who are passionate about helping others and making a difference. Samara is an amazing artist who flexed her creative muscle throughout the entire challenge by bringing emotions to life in powerful visuals. Judith is an inspiring and motivating teammate with an incredible work ethic that keeps all grounded. Nathaniel is a charismatic leader with a wonderful sense of humor and talent for visual aesthetics. Quincie is the face of the organization and team, as well as a great reflection of some of their best qualities. Together, they make up SOCF, youth activists, changemakers, founders of the Students 4 Sustainability Project, and most important of all, a loving group of friends. Their combination of conviction, curiosity, honesty, and a little Gen Z humor has allowed them to proudly spread a message of creating a sustainable world through climate justice to anyone and everyone.

Five words to describe PGC: inspirational, educational, insightful, powerful, empowering