Why did you choose UConn?
I was homeschooled until I was 13, and then I started going to Manchester Community College (MCC). The reason I chose to go to college early is because I do a lot of activism work, and college allows more flexibility. I wanted to graduate early to focus on the things that I’m passionate about. I live right down the road from UConn, so after two years at MCC, I transferred here.
What’s your major/area of study and why did you choose it?
I came in as a marine sciences major, and I was really interested in doing ocean-related environmental work. I soon realized that I wanted to do broader work on the environment. I landed on environmental studies because it’s more of the policy side.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’m planning to go to Washington, D.C. over the summer for an internship. After that, I’d like to stay in D.C. for maybe another year or two and work in government or policy more broadly, and then go to graduate school, probably for master’s degree in public policy or public administration.
What activities were you involved with as a student?
The main thing I’m involved in is off campus. I direct Sunrise Movement Connecticut, a local chapter of the National Sunrise Movement, a youth organization working to combat climate change. On campus, I’m a senator in Undergraduate Student Government (USG). I’m also involved with a lot of environmental activism, and I work with student groups that include Fridays for Future, EcoHusky, and UConn Collaborative Organizing.
What’s one thing that surprised you about UConn?
I wasn’t expecting the activist community at UConn. I grew up in Mansfield. I’ve been here my whole life, but I didn’t spend any time on campus before becoming a student. I was pleasantly surprised. I’m excited to have that network of other students who are just as passionate about environmental and other social justice issues. We spend a lot of time working together and collaborating.
Any advice for incoming first-year students?
Get involved right away. When I transferred, I didn’t do that, and I regretted it because it kind of isolated me, especially since I lived off campus. Take the opportunity to get involved with clubs, organizations, and the campus community right away.
What’s one thing that will always make you think of UConn?