In March, Earth Grant students joined forces with students from two other AIR Education Initiatives programs, Indigenous Correspondents Program and Diana Liverman Scholars, to present on their learning journeys and community-engaged projects. Students gave lightening talks and presented posters and interactive materials in the ENR2 courtyard, and Earth Grant student Kelly Rushford was the event’s dynamic emcee. Sorry you missed it? We got you! Three Earth Grant students stepped up to share a personal story as part of this event, which you can watch below.
Ashley Smith shared her personal story of admiration for her father’s military service, and how she ended up choosing a different path for her own version of service to our country and communities. Coming to the University of Arizona, majoring in Urban Development, and an internship with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management introduced Ashley to concepts like the urban heat index and urban tree density, which opened her imagination to potential careers in built environment and urban planning.
Isa Baron describes her efforts to create her own “sustainable business management” major, through taking classes from economic management to environmental history. This path led her to the concept of “pragmatic decision making,” which helped her understand the importance of sustainable strategies that also help people solve problems they already deal with in their daily lives.
Maya Tainatongo shared her story of a love for nature and engagement in environmental science, especially water-related projects, from a young age. Though she chose Earth Grant internships focused on community issues as a change of pace, she found herself coming back to water as a common thread that ties together her passions for education, transformative justice, science, and nature.
The full event recording with all ten students’ stories can be found here on AIR’s youtube channel.