On December 2, Teens Turning Green hosted the very first Green University for 12 high school and college students who participated in this year’s Project Green Challenge.
Held in the Bay Area, the students were flown in from around the country to take part in a two-day eco-summit at which they presented their final presentations for PGC, in which a winner was chosen by an esteemed panel of judges.
Project Green Challenge is a 30-day eco lifestyle challenge in which students from around the country were presented with a challenge each day in order to educate and inspire them to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle. Thousands of students participated, representing over 500 campuses. Only 12 finalists were selected to attend Green University, however. Learn about all 12 finalists HERE.
“What my peers accomplished in 24-hour blocks was extraordinary!” said 20-year-old campaign co-Founder and TTG spokesperson Erin Schrode. “As young people, we are driven by passion and an understanding of our individual and collective impact. With resources at our fingertips, we can amplify messages at unimaginable speeds and scales. Empowered and educated, we have incredible power to affect change – and have begun to act, beginning with PGC!” Schrode – along with her mother, TTG Founder and Executive Director Judi Shils, 15 interns, and a highly dedicated PGC team – crafted this project from scratch over the past eight months. “It was a dream that we brought to life with some of the most extraordinary young leaders we have ever worked with. The journey is just beginning – the goal: a sustainable and just world at the hands of these brilliant young activists.”
The finalists were joined by eco experts such as Lt. Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom; Susan Black of EO Products; Caitlin Bristol of eBay Green; Allison Cook of Story of Stuff Productions; Melissa DeSota of Steelcase Inc.; Maria Emmer-Aanes of Nature’s Path Organic Foods; Susie Hewson of Natracare; Zem Joaquin of ecofabulous; Rachna Kejriwal of Kejriwal Paper USA; Ashley Koff, R.D. of Ashley Koff Approved; David Lannon of Whole Foods Market; Domenica Peterson of Global Action Through Fashion; Debbie Raphael of the CA Department of Toxic Substance Control; Beth Rattner of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute; Maya Spaull of Fair Trade USA; and graduate students from Stanford Business School and the Presidio University Green MBA Program to name a few.
Raychel Santo, a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, was named the winner of Project Green Challenge. She received a number of amazing prizes, including a $5,000 education scholarship from sponsor Natracare, as well as a twin-size OMI mattress and an organic sheet set from OMI’s sister company, Lifekind. View the entire list of prizes HERE.
More about PCG Winner Raychel Santo:
Raychel is a sophomore double-major in Public Health Studies and Global Environmental Change & Sustainability at Johns Hopkins University. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, her passion for everything “green” began with her discovery of the sustainable food movement in her last few years of high school. As she voraciously read and watched every food and nutrition-related piece she could get her hands on, she stumbled into a passion that would fill her hunger for knowledge, justice, and a purpose in life. Upon arriving to college as a freshman, she co-founded a student group called Real Food Hopkins, a chapter of the national Real Food Challenge “committed to bringing local, sustainable, humane, and fair food to the Johns Hopkins campus and the surrounding Baltimore area.” Raychel is also a member of the JHU Students for Environmental Action club, the undergraduate representative on the JHU Office of Sustainability’s Student Advisory Committee, a Grassroots Leader for the national Real Food Challenge team, and a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, where she works for the Meatless Monday campaign and other Healthy Monday campaigns.
To learn more about Project Green Challenge and Teens Turning Green, visit the website HERE. Find them on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated about future events, as well as next year’s Project Green Challenge.