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November 2014 QUOTE OF THE MONTH: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” - Native American Proverb
February 13
Phenology Hike
Jenisse Persaud, New Leaf Collaborative, Martinez

October 12
Green Pioneers Tour of Hotel Shattuck Plaza & Green Citizen
Angelique Chan, Albany High School, Albany

May 12
Landfills
Masha Aleskovski, El Cerrito HS, El Cerrito
Grey Water Reuse
Krystal Ching, Alameda HS, Alameda
The Passive House
Krystal Ching, Alameda High School, Alameda

February 12
Aquaponics
Krystal Ching, Alameda HS, Alameda

December 11
John Muir
Natalie Chow, KIPP King Collegiate, San Lorenzo

August 11
Highlighting Local Professionals:Rashidah Grinage, Urban Youth Harvest
Kim Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Oakland

July 11
This Isn't Diamonds or Gold, its H2O!
Pallavi Sherikar, Irvington HS, Fremont

June 11
Monitoring Lake Merritt
Julie Saechin, Oakland HS, Oakland

May 11
Looking Without Seeing
Pallavi Sherikar, Irvington HS, Fremont
What is our Future?
Riley Felt, Joaquin Moraga MS, Moraga
How to start an inter-school garden
Julien Malard, Washington HS, Fremont

April 11
Recycling at JFK
Harpreet Kaur , John F. Kennedy HS, Fremont
Tips for Environmental Clubs!
Pallavi Sherikar, Irvington HS, Fremont
Aqua Team Takes on Water Bottle Usage at Richmond HS
Luis Sanchez, Richmond HS, Richmond

March 11
Elephant Seals
Julie Saechin, Oakland HS, Oakland
Bedford Gallery event and John Muir
Cristobal Castaneda, Briones ESA, Martinez
Cuts in Funding for the National Weather Service
Shree Patel, Dougherty Valley HS, San Ramon
A taser for animals?
Gloria "Jack" Mejia, Media Academy, Oakland

February 11
F.I.E.R.C.E.--a 10-school student environmental group!
Julien Malard, Washington High School, Fremont
EarthTeam Recruits Eco Stewards
Cheyenne Ziermann, Campolindo HS, Moraga
Sustainable High Schools
Shree Patel, Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon
The Ultimate Festival in Sustainability
Cristobal Castaneda, Briones ESA, Martinez

January 11
Are you composting?
Jennie Kim, Dougherty Valley HS, San Ramon

December 10
Green Purchasing: The Best Way to Shop
Shree Patel, Dougherty Valley HS, San Ramon
The Land of Garbage
Devina Miller, Oakland School for the Arts, Oakland

November 10
About Our Earth Club
Margo Oka, Sequoia MS, Pleasant Hill
Greening The Holidays
Jennie Kim, Dougherty Valley HS, San Ramon
Oakland's zoo expansion gains support
Kim & Gloria "Jack" Mejia-Cuellar, Media Academy, Fremont HS, Oakland
What is solar energy?
James Wiley, Oakland School for the Arts, Oakland
Mobbing Jellyfish Take over the Ocean
Devina Miller, Oakland School for the Arts, Oakland
Did You Know?
Traci Crain, El Cerrito HS, El Cerrito

October 10
EPA Approves of Higher Concentration of Ethanol
Shree Patel, Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon

September 10
PETE: One of the Greatest Breakthroughs in Solar Energy Conversion
Shree Patel, Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon
New Bill Proposes First Mandatory Cap on Greenhouse Gases
Sally Castillo, Berkeley High School, Berkeley
Thirsty?: An Essay on The Effect of Globalization On Drinking Water
Kim Mejia, Media Academy, Fremont HS, Oakland

August 10
Seeds in the City - Urban Agriculture Takes Farming to the Streets
Jessie Kathan, Campolindo HS, Moraga
Organic Food For Thought
Jennie Kim , Dougherty Valley HS, San Ramon
Pesticides Show a Risk of ADHD
Saleha Ahmed, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Veganism
Shree Patel, Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon

July 10
Shale Gas- A New Form of Energy?
Shree Patel, Dougherty Valley High School, San Ramon
Things You Probably Didn't Know About Diamonds
Stephenie Huynh, San Lorenzo HS, San lorenzo

June 10
A New Pesticide, Methyl Iodide, in California and Florida?
Maria Sino, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Premature Detonation: Oil Spilling Without a Solution
Sam Shaw, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
A Hidden Eco-Treasure Among Us, The Berkeley Ecology Center
Saleha Ahmed, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Sailboat of Plastic Bottles
Alyssa Gill, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Help Lindsay Help Wildlife
Jessie Kathan, Campolindo, Moraga
Pick Up Your Trash for the Waste Audit
Michelle Kumar, J.F. Kennedy HS, Fremont

May 10
C Davis Scientists Research Ocean Acidification in Bodega Bay
Emma Carlblom, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Urban Garden Provides Food for Residents in West Oakland
Emma Styles-Swaim , Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Chemicals in Cosmetic Products Pose A Threat to Consumers
Maria Sino , Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Birding
Olachi Obioma, Richmond HS, Richmond
Jellyfish: Species To Be Reckoned With
Stephenie Huynh, San Lorenzo HS, San Lorenzo
Colleges Across the Nation Participate in the Green Movement
Maria Sino, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Research Proves Cellular Phones Pose Serious Health Risk
Saleha Almed, Berkeley HS, Berkeley

April 10
Fifth Annual Teens Turning Green Summit in San Rafael
Sally Castillo, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Student in Marin County Brings Solar Panels to His School
Alyssa Gill, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
The Pacific Steel Company, Berkeley's Own Industrial Giant
Anna Guth, Berkeley HS, Berkeley
Radiation Danger May Lurk in Cell Phones
Savanna Lawrence, Hercules HS, Hercules

March 10
The David Brower Center, Home to Women's Earth Alliance
Emma Styles-Swaim, Berkeley HS, Berkeley

February 10
San Francisco's New Ordinance Makes Composting Mandatory
Anna FitzGerald Guth, Berkeley High School, Berkeley
SIGG Admits to Having Chemical BPA in Bottle Linings
Ruth Teresko, Berkeley High School, Berkeley
KQED and the Green Screen: An Alliance for the Future
Adam Sherman, Acalanes HS, Lafayette
A Typical High School's Carbon Footprint on the World
Amanda Nguyen, San Ramon Valley HS, Danville
Tomales High Cleans Up Dillon Beach
Samantha Fernandes, Tomales HS, Tomales

January 10
The Hero's Journey of Maria Gunnoe
Sophie Barrett, Intern, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz
Three Ways to Kick Off the New Year - Green-Style!
Amanda Nguyen, San Ramon Valley HS, San Ramon
My First Quarter at UCSC:
Sophie Barrett, Intern, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz

December 09
Gift Wrapping--the Green Way!
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
World Wildlife Fund Fights for Endangered Animals
Amanda Nguyen, San Ramon Valley HS, San Ramon

November 09
On the Other Hand... With Jessie: Sustainability at the Supermarket
Jessie Kathan, Campolindo HS, Moraga
Team Green Strives to "Green" Their Campus
Jason Yuen, Monte Vista HS, Danville
Food Waste in the Dining Halls at UCSC
Sophie Barrett, Intern, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz

September 09
Hero’s Journey of Maria Gunnoe
Sophie Barrett, Intern, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz
My Proposal to Decrease Child Obesity
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Debaters Square Off Over Alternative Energy
Gary Tran, Media Academy, Fremont HS, Oakland
Lemurs Benefit from MetWest Senior Project
Ellissia Hill, MetWest High, Oakland
On the Other Hand... With Jessie. This Month: "Greenwashing"
Jessie Kathan, Campolindo High School, Moraga

August 09
On the Other Hand... With Jessie. This Month: "Wishy Washy Carwash"
Jessie Kathan, Campolindo, Moraga
Sunscreen Secrets
Sophie Barrett, Intern, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz

July 09
Albany High’s Leap Towards a Sustainable Future
Sophie Barrett, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz
July Bay Area Events!
Nicole Cogar, Diablo Valley College, Concord
What You Can Do to Put an End to the Afterlife of Cigarettes
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany

June 09
Will California Be Left High and Dry?
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
The Flowers Are Talking
Juan Gomez, Lionel Wilson, Oakland
Photograph Response
Jessica Torres, Lionel Wilson Prep., Oakland
The Affects of Nicotine on the Environment!
Ebony Hebert, Lionel Wilson, Oakland
Vegetarianism: Is It Worth It?
Raul Topete, Lionel Wilson, Oakland
Veggie Gardens: A Growing Trend
Johnny Srimoukda, Brittany Sneed, Media Academy / Fremont FHS, Oakland
Brown Bag Bumblebee
Kayla Nachtsheim, Albany High School, Albany
May the Force Be With You & Your Cooking
Tala Beigi - College Intern, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
Earth Day Volunteers
Linh Ho, Amanda Huynh, and Angelina Huynh, San Lorenzo High, San Lorenzo
Water Bottles Affecting our Environment
Linh Ho, San Lorenzo High, San Lorenzo
California's Native Plants
Angelina Huynh, San Lorenzo High, San Lorenzo

May 09
Earth Day
Linh Ho, Amanda Huynh, and Angelina Huynh, San Lorenzo High School, San Lorenzo
California's Most Pressing Issue: Water Conservation
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont

April 09
Eco-Chic
Jennie Kim, Dougherty Valley HIgh School, San Ramon
Veganism Lifestyle: The Meat of the Issue
Emily Borenstien, Alhambra High School, Martinez
Teens Turning Green: Greening High School Prom's one at a time
Max Perrey, Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley
Restoration Projects with Greening Berkeley and Friends of Five Creeks
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Albany High's Glass Tower
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Cesar Chavez Celebration at Aquatic Park
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Who Knew That Drugs Hurt Our Earth Not Only Ourselves?
Sophie Barrett and Rachel Ling, Albany High School, Albany
Buy an Efficient Toilet
linh ho, San Lorenzo High, San Lorenzo
Earth Day: How It All Began
Nicole Cogar, DVC, Concord
Transportation, is it Safe?
Eliza Li, San Lorenzo High, San Lorenzo
April Recipes: Spring Has Sprung
Tala Beigi - College Intern, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill

March 09
Increase in carbon dioxide leads to dramatic changes
Linh Ho, San Lorenzo High, san lorenzo
Green Transportation
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
On the Other Hand.... With Jessie
Jessie Kathan, Campolindo High School, Moraga
Desalination: Too costly for our pockets and for our health
Max Perrey, Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley
Walking: the Oldest Form of Transportation
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Global Warming Myths
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
Connect for the Planet
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
Nonprofits In Need: Economic Meltdown Hurts Environmental Groups
Max Perrey, Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley
St. Pi Day Recipes!!
Tala Beigi - College Intern, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
Transportation, The Green Way
Nicole Cogar, Diablo Valley College, Concord
Cherish this Planet
Linh Ho, San Lorenzo High, san lorenzo

February 09
The Corrupted Food Industry
David Zhao, San Francisco Community Colleg, Albany
Eco Update #1
Max Perrey, Tam High, Mill Valley
The Academy of Science's Contribution to Climate Change
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
An interview with Julie and Marcia, two teachers with a passion
Nicole Cogar, Diablo Valley College, Concord
My Adventures With the Green Screen
Nicole Cogar, Diablo Valley College, Concord
Nation's Greenest School!
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
On the Other Hand.... With Jessie
Jessie Kathan, Campolindo High School, Moraga
Energy Efficiency in the Home
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
350.org
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Letter to Obama on Environmental Sustainability
Clara Tsao, Miramonte High School, Orinda

January 09
In-Season Treaties for your Valentine Sweeties!!
Tala Beigi, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant hill
Green Dry Cleaners
Tala Beigi, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
STEWARDSHIP ESSAY
Jeremy Mah, St. Ignatius College Prep, San Francisco
My Inspiration
Sophie Barrett, Albany High, Albany
What Has Inspired Me
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
Mussel Rock: Plates Shifting Beneath My Feet
Kevin Keller, St. Ignatius College Prep, San Francisco
The Brower Youth Awards Celebration
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
New Year, New Recipes!
Tala Beigi, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
What Inspires Me
Tala Beigi, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
Eco-resolutions
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
My Journey and its Inspirations
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont

December 08
Adventures With The Green Screen -Reel Green Media / Episode 17-
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
The Beauty of Recycling
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Dark Spring Day (poem)
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
Greener Holidays
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
The Abandoned Hardrock Mines Reclamation Act
Dom Tejo, Aragon High School, San Mateo
Act to Save America's Forests
Dom Tejo, Aragon High School, San Mateo
Our Future
Albert Aramayo, Aragon High School, San Mateo
Permaculture: The New Green
Tala Beigi, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
Making Friends with Recycleables
Tala Beigi, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
Winter Delights
Tala Beigi, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill

November 08
Why Eat Green?
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
Food Labels
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
Adams Middle School E.S.C.A.P.E. club
Kelly Saefong, Adams Middle School, Richmond
Composting at School
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Solano Stroll Going Green
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany

October 08
'Tis the Season
Tala Beigi, Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill
Brower Youth Awards
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
EarthTeam's Global Warming Campaign Meeting
Natasha Gupta, Monte Vista HS , Danville
Coastal Clean Up Day 2008
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
The solar movement in Richmond
Sophie Barrett, Rachel Ling, albany high school, albany

September 08
Coastal Clean Up at Albany
Sophie Barrett, Albany High School, Albany
Solar Richmond for Green Collar Jobs
Traci Crain, El Cerrito High, El Cerrito

August 08
Eco-School
Nicole Cogar , Horizons Home Study , Concord
Battleground Earth
Nicole Cogar , Horizons Home Study , Concord
Eco-ambassadors attend "Forecast Earth Summit"
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont
Plastic in the oceans poses threat to animals and humans
Aiman Arif, California Virtual Academy, Fremont

June 08
Those Old Shoes
Sophie Barrett, Albany High, Albany

May 08
Music for Environmental and Social Justice
Cynthia Zuniga, Adams Middle School, Richmond
Greensburg GreenTown
Nicole Cogar , Horizon Home School, Concord
The Diary Of A Mole
Tyler Jolley, Elizabeth Stewart K-8, San Pablo
Gorilla in the Greenhouse
Rebecca Scott , Juan Crespi Middle School , El Sobrante

April 08
Concord Going Green
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study , Concord
Water Quality Enhancement Project
Jacob Schmidt , Environmental Studies Academy, Martinez
Ten Simple Things All People Can Do …
Stephanie Parreira , Casa Grande HS, Petaluma
A Fast Food Nation: Have We Been Corrupted?
Stephanie Harvin , Environmental Studies Academy, Martinez
The Earth's Hour
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study , Concord
Middle School Students Help Save the Polar Bears!
Dyani Main, St Mary's College High School , Berkeley
On Reflection
Rea Acda , St Ignatius College Prep High , SF

March 08
The Green Sound
Natasha Gupta , Monte Vista High School , Danville
I'm Enriched By Enrichment Week Project
Elizabeth Price , St Mary's College High School , Berkeley
Hair Mats?
Elonna Mack , Creative Arts Charter School , SF
Cleaner, Greener Universities
Dana Dizon, Richmond High , Richmond
A Nature Nexus Fairy Tale
Melissa Liotta , St Ignatius College Prep High, SF
Mr. Tree
Andrew Shahamiri, St Ignatius High School , San Francisco

January 08
Rethink Recycling
Emily Ellsworth, Acalanes HS, Lafayette
Focus the Nation
Various Students, International High School, San Francisco
Facing Our Inconvenient Truth
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
Eighth Grader Helps Clean Up the World
Brianna Lane, Stone Valley Middle School, Alamo
The Good Thing I Did for the Environment Over My Holiday Break
Eric Sanchez and Joshua Martarella, Earthteam, Berkeley
Consumerism and Count Chocula
Andrew Shahamiri, St Ignatius College HS, San Francisco
Kayaking
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
Mobilization: The Power of Students
Max Perry, Mt. Tamalpais HS, Mill Valley
Earthquakes in My Life
Natalie Perkins , St. Ignatius Prep, San Francisco
The History of Our Soil
Chloe Flax, San Andreas High School, Larkspur
Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders
Various Students, Earthteam, Berkeley
The Change Starts With You
Ashley Bagley, Tomales High School, Tomales Bay
The Green Screen Crew Recommends Green Movies
The Green Screen Crew, Earthteam, Berkeley
On a Scale of 1 - 10?
Earth Club Students, Alhambra HS, Martinez
Update from Albany High School's EarthTeam Environmental Club
Allison Cooper, Albany HS, Albany
The End…For Real
Jael, Naomi, and Dajoune, Creative Arts Charter School, San Francisco
The End…For Real Part 2
Jael, Naomi, and Dajoune, Creative Arts Charter School, San Francisco
A Word From The ESA
Various Authors, The ESA, Martinez
EarthTeam Restoration Days
Nicole Cogar, Horizons Home Study, Concord
LEAF 2007
Dyani Main, St Mary's College HS, Berkeley
What is the tallest bird you've ever seen?
Judy Pun, Oakland HS, Oakland
More About Sand Hill Cranes & the Ecosystem
Chai Saephan, Oakland HS, Oakland
Keller Beach
Cameron Hamilton , Berkeley High, Berkeley
Cool Schools Global Warming Meeting
Raj Khatri, San Lorenzo High School, San Lorenzo
Save What's left!
Colleen Zak, Tamalpais HS, Mill Valley
What a Day!
Natasha Gupta, Monte Vista HS, Danville
Going Green: Necessity, Not a Fad
Nikhil Gupta, Diablo Vista Middle School, Danville
My Interview for Nourish on PBS
Elizabeth Price, St Mary's College HS, Berkeley
Musicians For Relief
Cynthia Zuniga and Rebecca Scott, Adams and Crespi Middle School, Richmond and El Sobrante
Going the Distance
Adam Sherman, Acalanes High School, Lafayette
Youthful Action Gets Going
Justin Halliwill, French American International, San Francisco
Thoughts from a Bay Area High School Environmentlist
Samantha Barghahn, Earthteam, Berkeley
A Simple Lifestyle Change
Christopher Gioia, Albany HS, Albany
What’s New at Saint Mary’s College High School
Elizabeth Price, St Mary's College HS, Berkeley
Count Carbon Cost, Not Just Calories
Tyler Jolley, Stewart Middle School, Richmond
The Strangest Catch (Pes Sapo)
Alex Ortiz, Pinole Valley High School, Pinole

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I'm Enriched By Enrichment Week Project
 
By Elizabeth Price
Grade 12
St Mary's College High School
Berkeley , CA


 

Dyani Main and I created an IIP (Enrichment Week project) for that spoke to both our career-oriented and creative passions. The focus of the week was environmental education – we worked, and are still working, on a short film to highlight what different high schools around the Bay Area are doing to better the environment, both on campus and possibly in the greater community. As we planned for the project, the task seemed somewhat challenging, but certainly not unattainable. However, as we became immersed in the work, the planning, the timing, and all the details associated with filming, editing, and producing a cohesive work, we realized that both the project and our objectives would be slightly more difficult to achieve. Nevertheless, we persevered, keeping in mind our true passion for creating a more sustainable, environmentally friendly community, and ultimately, world.

            On Monday, Dyani and I went to Berkeley High to hopefully capture some footage of their environmentally oriented clubs, including students and teachers. Our quest was less-than-successful; our timing was wrong, and we were forced to rely on some of our previous information about the school to complete some of our research. We essentially went back to the drawing board, realizing that we were not prepared to get the quality footage that we really wanted. The interesting thing about filming is that it takes so much energy and preparation to get a mere 30-second quality blurb. The interviewee must feel comfortable, the interviewer must be prepared, permission must be granted in order to film, and, above all else, people must be willing to compromise and cooperate. Thus, we pushed forward, determined to make something worthwhile.

            On Tuesday, we spent the majority of the day planning for our visit to Salesian High School. We went to the school, after visiting there a few weeks prior, in order to hash out final details. We met with the principal, Mr. Chambers, the assistant principal, Mr. Hazel, and the teacher with whom we would be more closely collaborating with, Ms. Shushan. The next day, we executed our plans – we went to Salesian during the afternoon, cameras and tripods in hand and questions ready. We worked with their Garden Club, the group responsible for their on-campus native plant gardens, composting machines (made possible by grants from Contra Costa County), and worm collection. We got great footage, including interviews from students eager to share info on composting, their food scraps program on campus, and the general attitude at Salesian about “being green”.

            Ms. Shushan was a joy to work with. She was informative, supportive, and really understood our quest to document the great things that schools are doing. She even opted to let us interview her; her responses were informative and really showed how much time and energy she put into establishing this club on their campus. It was great meeting other students as passionate about the environment as myself; it is comforting to know that, even in small ways, we are making differences that will hopefully benefit our communities for years and years to come.

            We were even invited to return to Salesian to capture more footage on their Peace Pole, a pole erected in one of their native plant gardens symbolizing peace and tranquility on campus. To be invited back to their school was truly inspiring and flattering.

            The editing process of the footage is still underway – we are also still waiting for some of the release forms from the students on camera so that we can legally show their image in our film. The process is somewhat tedious; at times, it is less about the subject matter of the film, and rather more about the connections one makes in order to produce something worthwhile, the preparation, the time, and the dedication. Often, people are hesitant to be filmed, or even to be included or associated with video projects, especially those that may be viewed as “controversial” because they highlight new, changing subject matter. That, however, is what I love most about both filmmaking and the environment: both can be groundbreaking and controversial, and, at the very least, both open peoples’ eyes to what is new, creative, challenging and out of the ordinary.

            The week ended somewhat anti-climactically – I got sick, and Dyani had to go out of town. Luckily, however, we captured the vast majority of our footage. The experience itself was challenging, no question; the independence, was, at times intimidating, the work was tiring, and the scheduling was hectic; regardless, the whole thing gave me an idea of what it takes to create something impressionable.

I love breaking the status quo and influencing others to do the same – that is what I hope to do with this film, with the work that Dyani and I are doing on campus at with the Environmental Action Team, and with our work on The Green Screen. All of these projects are close to my heart because they challenge me to think, stretch, and even hurt a little. The rewards vastly outweigh the pain involved – I truly think I’ve found my niche.