Junior, Bloomington High School South, Bloomington, IN
I am a Junior attending Bloomington High School South in Southern Indiana. I am a dual citizen of the United States and Germany and have spent about two years living in Germany. At school, my focuses are on sciences and mathematics and I plan to major in Physics when I go to college. By the end of my junior year in high school, I will likely have the standing of a minor in mathematics at Indiana University, Bloomington. I am the leader of the Students Advocating for a Greener Environment club (SAGE), participate in Science Olympiad, Academic Super Bowl, and Activity Council, play the cello, and lacrosse. With my soccer team, we won the state championship in 2015. I studied cello at the Jacob’s School of Music precollege program for 9 years and now continue privately. In my summers, she enjoys swimming at the lake, traveling, and trekking.
Intensity, ah-ha-moments, empowerment, hope, leadership
One of the most memorable PGC experiences that I had was my talk on the Justice of Climate Change. I was able to step in my class as a student leader and provoke meaningful discussion among my peers. This challenge to talk in front of other people about an issue that is very important to me was in the beginning very nerve-racking. However, once I saw that people were responding well and participating in the discussion and activity, I was able to see that my hard work paid off, making me feel more calm and accomplished. My AP Environmental Science teacher made her event for the day opened only to students who wanted to come to my presentation. I was not expecting the room to be completely filled. It was so incredible to see person after person walk into the room until there were roughly 50 students there to listen to me talk. This was the first big presentation that I had ever given, so it was very reassuring to see that I had so much support, even if I didn’t even know many of the people (they opted to come from my teacher advertising me and seeing the interesting activity name in the sign up page).
Before this experience, I thought that I knew a decent amount about sustainability. Throughout the challenges, I learned about practices that had never even crossed my mind in my everyday life. One was when we learned about fast fashion. I hadn’t put much thought into where my clothes were coming from before I learned about the huge impact it has on other people’s lives and the environment. After completing all of the challenges, I realized how much I didn’t know 30 day ago. I was surprised by the amount of things that I took for granted, that I would now never do, such as using the occasional plastic water bottle.
One of the biggest lessons of PGC was that I learned that spreading ideas is possible for me, already as a high school student. For example, I was featured on the front page of our local newspaper (The Herald Times) during the challenges. One of my articles will appear in my school’s newspaper (The Optimist). These are both examples of how I have been able to reach my community. In the future, I plan on continuing my efforts to spread awareness about these vital environmental issues in my community and to other students. I can bring my knowledge of these topics to the environmental club at my school so that we can make even greater change in our school. I now know how to properly contact my representatives, which is the best way to convey my stance, as a student, on certain issues in the government. I will push others to contact their local representatives to make change happen all around the country and world. We are the leaders of tomorrow, and we can change the earth for the better.