What are your academic goals in CUNY Baccalaureate?
My academic goal while in CUNY BA is to further my understanding of the relationship between sustainable choices and economic outcomes. With my area of concentration in Environmental Economics, I hope to be able to study the link between not only energy choices and their economic outcome, but also substantiate the need for sustainable lifestyle choices and present the economic benefits of making these choices. There is minimal standardized data available to establish the connection. My goal is to be on the cutting edge of the mainstream implementation of this societal change with the help of my mentor and professors. Classes such as Environmental Entrepreneurship, Environmental Economics and Economic Mineral Resources helped to build a foundation of understanding for the implementation of sustainable choices and their economic impact on an individual and societal scale. I have begun this process through an independent study where I created a proposal of a green jobs initiative for Northern Manhattan, District 10 with Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez on a voluntary basis. This initiative includes training for non-union Superintendents in a bilingual setting to educate them on retrofitting older buildings and create a greener lifestyle in the community as a whole.
Tell us about your working relationship with your faculty mentor. You appear with Professor Foster in this photo.
As a CUNY BA student I have been very fortunate to have a mentor who involves me in many different networking events and seminars. He has encouraged me to work with other professors on independent studies looking at the air quality along the George Washington Bridge I-95 corridor that runs through a densely populated area. This research will be used to create a green-roof proposal to the Department of Education. My experiences as a CUNY BA student have also allowed me to volunteer with many amazing organizations as well as create my own community efforts, including a neighborhood spring clean that includes over 100 volunteers and the first bilingual Kindergarten Fair for District 6 a predominantly Hispanic community which was attended by over 1,000 families. All of these grassroots efforts have an impact on the direct community they are involved with.
What are your plans after earning your degree?
My plan after receiving my degree would be to continue to work with other communities in the implementation of sustainable choices. This could include continued collaboration with political leaders for individual communities, branching into policy making for financial assistance to advance the green industry or assisting corporate models in evolving to a more sustainably aware environment. Continuing to an advanced degree would be an asset in this process.