Team Johnston Dragons (Sophie VanZee | Libbie Smith | Joseph Haggerty | Angela Cai)

Juniors and Seniors
Johnston High School, Johnston, IA

What five words best describe your PGC experience?

Educational. Inspiring. Impactful. Intense. Sculpting.

What was most memorable from your PGC experience?

The most memorable experience I had was traveling to both a landfill and a waste water treatment plant in order to provide further background for the footprint challenge. Many intricacies of our infrastructure are often taken for granted, and so it was fascinating to learn about the systems that are set in place to help mankind. I learned so much more from first hand experience I never could have gathered from a news article or a TED talk. It also served as important because it provided knowledge of an aspect of daily life that could be modified to be much greener.

What have you learned about yourself over the past 30 days?

I have learned that I have a passion for helping the environment and saving those in need. I crave opportunities to serve those who need assistance, and I have learned the greatest way I can help the most people is through environmental action both with my community, and on a personal level. In addition to this, this challenge was allowed me to understand how, and why these efforts can help shape the Earth’s future. Through a cumulative 30 days of change, I now understand specific actions I can take to change our planet, whether it be through recycling, emailing representatives, or sharing ideas with friends. Every small action taken by me has big impacts, and I have learned that I crave this payoff of making others happy. I have also learned that much of what was holding me back from taking environmental action every day was a lack of faith that my actions would spark change. Through participation, I have seen many actions fruit success and have learned that by recognizing I can change the world, I am much more likely to invoke such progress. This opportunity has allowed for introspection upon what I want my future to look like. Participation has helped change my life. I have learned that I desperately crave a life, both professionally and personally, centered around the betterment of Earth’s global ecosystem, and all of its over seven billion people.