Our Climate Student Leaders

'20 Oregon Fellows

Sharona Shnayder 

Sharona Shnayder is currently a data analyst and undergraduate pursuing accounting at Portland State University. She is a pillar of her community with her involvement spanning from her college campus to the whole state of Oregon. With a passion for sustainability, she also serves as an environmental advocate by leading discussions on the issue of climate change and working with small businesses to aid in the consideration of the moral and ethical implications of their actions on the Planet. In doing so, she has successfully been revered among peers and coworkers as an asset to any cause she lends herself to.

Grace Doleshel 

Grace began her journey in conservation as a freshman in high school when she began volunteering at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.  There she worked to educate zoo guests on conservation issues as well as develop and implement conservation projects in her community such as fundraisers for endangered species and plastic free incentives.  After four years with Point Defiance, she went on to be a member of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Youth Advisory Council, the National Sattelite Summit Coordinator for the Youth Ocean Conservation Summit and a 2019 delegate for Sea Youth Rise Up. Grace has lobbied for climate at a state, national, and international level, most recently travelling to Madrid, Spain for COP25.  Grace is currently a junior at Oregon State University pursuing a BS in environmental public policy with a minor in social justice and is excited to be joining the Our Climate family.

Ian Curtis 

Ian Curtis is a first-year student studying political science at Willamette University. Ian has interned with Ron Wyden, served as Executive Director of the Oregon Youth Legislative Initiative on Climate Justice and currently works with Renew Oregon and does communications for Deb Patterson’s state senate campaign. In addition to his environmental activism, Ian runs cross-country and track for Willamette.

'19-'20 New England Fellows

Olivia Henning

Olivia is a sophomore at Boston University studying Environmental Analysis and Policy. She is originally from Seattle, Washington, where she enjoyed hiking, skiing, and swimming in local lakes and rivers. Olivia works to make Boston University more sustainable with it's Environmental Student Organization, by writing for the Emerald Review, its environmental science and policy magazine, and by educating incoming students as a Sustainability Ambassador. Olivia hopes to pursue a career where she can impact environmental policy and hopes working with Our Climate can help her build the foundational skills to influence policy and be a role model for other aspiring policy influencers.

Sabrin Zahid

During her AP Environmental Science course at Somerville High School, Sabrin found her passion for the environment. Now as a senior, she is a leader in the Boston Climate Strike movement and has a growing awareness of the environmental injustices that are placed on low income urban communities like her own. Combining her love for nature and her passion for social justice, Sabrin intends to learn more about environmental politics and is excited to be applying some of her own knowledge to this Our Climate Fellowship. During her spare time, Sabrin likes to spend time with her friends at the beach and try out new vegan restaurants around Boston!

Sofia Liang

Sofia is a junior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, where she particularly enjoys AP Language and Composition. She is excited to research more about climate change and build on the skills she has learned from working with the Sunrise Movement and the Boston Student Advisory Council. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts.

Angela Ruan

Angela is a student at the Woodward School for Girls in Quincy, MA. 

New England Field Advisors

Emily Radkowski


Emily completed her Fellowship with Our Climate as a first-year student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, while pursuing a major in environmental science and a certificate in coastal and marine sciences. As a former captain of her high school’s speech and debate team, she is passionate about helping others find their voices and share their stories. Now an experienced lobbyist, presenter, and mentor for Our Climate, she now focuses on assisting other young people to take their advocacy to the next level, especially in Central and Western Massachusetts. In her downtime, Emily can either be found hiking, trying new recipes, or searching for the best reading spots on campus.

Dania Halak & Isabel Skomro

  

Since beginning their fellowships in the summer, Dania Halak and Isabel Skomro have become an unstoppable team for building Our Climate's relationship with the Massachusetts Speaker of the House. Isabel is a Senior at Winthrop High School and lives on a small peninsula in Winthrop, MA, with the ocean on one side of her house and the bay on the other. She became more interested in fighting climate change during her junior year, when she took AP Environmental Science. Dania is similarly passionate about science, especially AP biology. After school, Isabel enjoys soccer, spring and winter track, and mock trial while Dania leads several social justice clubs and interns at Mass General Hospital. 

Lorenzo de Simone

Lorenzo is a freshman at Milton Academy in Milton, MA.  His interest in politics has led him to joining a few political campaigns, including that of Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016. Curiosity led him to try his hand at lobbying for carbon pricing and now it’s a big part of what he does. Through effective legislation and business action, Lorenzo hopes that Massachusetts can be a national leader in small government climate change solutions that don’t threaten individual rights while using revenue for important budget priorities. Lorenzo loves to read about politics and constitutional law, and hopes to pursue a career involving the two. Outside of Our Climate, Lorenzo likes reading, building engines and stupid contraptions, and hiking.

New England Field Representatives

Erin McCann

Erin is a junior at Phillips Exeter Academy, and is originally from Half Moon Bay and Menlo Park, California. Over the summer, she was fortunate enough to visit Iceland with National Geographic, and returned with a renewed passion and talent for using art and writing to communicate the devastation and gravity of climate change. That passion motivated her to become a part of Our Climate, so that she could fight for the places she photographs and is inspired by. At school, Erin writes for a MATTER, a student-run science magazine, is a member of the debate club, and is involved in a multitude of environmental clubs. In her work for Our Climate, she hopes to gain valuable experience by learning how to lobby, mobilizing her own communities to become more involved in the environmental movement, and meeting some of the inspiring leaders that are working to protect our future.

Mikaela Lessnau

Mikaela (Mika) is a junior at Tufts University double-majoring in International Relations and Environmental Studies with a concentration in environmental communication, global health and nutrition. She grew up in the urban atmosphere of New York City and experienced the natural world by horseback riding in upstate New York and skiing in New England. She loves learning languages and speaks German, Italian, and French. She is interested in international climate policy between the EU and the US to foster cooperative, concordant legislation that will help mitigate climate change. Mika was an Environmental Communications intern for Green Streets in Cambridge last summer, which promotes sustainable and active forms of transportation among Massachusetts residents and companies.

Spring 2020 New York Fellows

Danielle Fossett

Danielle Fossett is a freshman at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus on policy and law. She took a gap year before entering college working with Climate Countdown and spending two months in India researching the effects of pollution within the vicinity of the Ganga River and advocating for young primary school girls to use more environmentally friendly sanitary products. She recently participated in COP25 as a representative of FOCUS Climate Gap Year, advocating for students to explore the world immersing themselves in climate impacts and solutions. She is a fellow at Our Climate and is hoping to get her campus more involved and well-known in the political and environmental sphere of Syracuse, New York.

Evan Roden

Evan Roden is a student from East Aurora focused on climate policy on a state and local level. Through his actions as a senior board member with his school’s science and sustainability clubs, he has facilitated social and health-based policy changes tangential to climate action, along with a local radio show on WBNY FM. Evan is a state chair of the NYS Junior Classical League, the president of seven local clubs and organizations, and a climate fellow for Our Climate. Evan loves cooking, his dog, Scout, and playing the viola. He intends to study Biomedical Engineering in college.

Eva Milstein-Touesnard

Eva Milstein-Touesnard is a sophomore at Cornell University. She is majoring in government and is doing a minor in social inequality and another minor in environmental science and sustainability. At Cornell, Eva is the outreach chair for Climate Justice Cornell, a club that seeks to educate and advocate for environmental justice. She is also on three dance teams where she spends her free time practicing and performing many different styles of dance. Outside of Cornell, she is a fellow at Our Climate and is working to build a stronger network of local young people to be able to advocate for climate protection laws.

Yasu Wagoner-Oshima

Yasu Wagoner-Oshima is a junior at Binghamton University majoring in Environmental Planning. At Binghamton University Yasu volunteers at various food drives, events held at the local zoo, and more. Over the last two summers Yasu worked as a Support Specialist at New Country Day Camp, helping children who needed extra support. Currently Yasu is working as a fellow at Our Climate, in order to raise awareness and create change at his school, and at the state level.

Kira Hawes

Kira Hawes is a sophomore studying Environmental Policy with a minor in History at Binghamton University. At Binghamton, she is the Chair of Sustainability of the Environmental Action Club, which aims to educate students about broader environmental justice issues and push for sustainable solutions on campus. She is also a fellow for Our Climate and is dedicated to pushing for polluter accountability in her community and at the state level. In her free time, Kira likes to hike, run, and photograph all things nature!

Faiza Azam

Faiza Azam is a senior at John Dewey High school, located in South Brooklyn. Faiza started out her career path in Environmental studies when she joined the Resilient Schools Consortium, an organization dedicated to research and preparation for communities in Coney Island to become resilient against natural disasters, after the destruction left by Hurricane Sandy. This led to her work with the Wildlife Conservation Society at the NY Aquarium, to campaign and research for ocean and wildlife protection against pollution and effects of climate change. Faiza has worked among both groups to organize events and strike for change. Faiza joined Our Climate as a Field Representative in 2019 and continues her work as a Spring 2020 Fellow where she is working to pass climate policy. Faiza plan to major in Law and Criminal Justice in college and she also love to code.

Liam Smith

Liam Smith is a senior at Brighton High School. He serves as President of Brighton High School’s Climate Club, Leadership Team member of the Rochester Youth Climate Leaders, and Director of Government Affairs for the New York Youth Climate Leaders. He has years of experience lobbying for sustainability policy in his school, town, county, and country. As a fellow for Our Climate, Liam is currently working to enact comprehensive carbon pricing legislation in New York State. In his free time, Liam does gymnastics, plays the piano, and hangs out with his four siblings.

 

Spring 2020 New York Field Representatives

Will Riley

Will Riley is a sophomore at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY and is working towards his BA in Earth Science and Biology. Will is very interested in how physical earth systems and ecosystems interact and will change as a result of the climate crisis, and is involved in researching such topics. As the climate crisis demands more action than just producing scientific work, Will’s passion for climate advocacy led him to Our Climate. In his free time, Will enjoys hiking, painting, and swimming.  

Fiona Bruckman

Fiona Bruckman is a sophomore currently pursuing a Science, Technology, and Society major and Hispanic Studies correlate at Vassar College. She’s previously been involved in grassroots movements through the member-led immigrants right’s organization Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, and is looking forward to tackling grassroots environmental work through her involvement with Our Climate. She is excited by the prospect of holding the fossil fuel industry accountable for carbon pollution, and by the coalition of young people that are fighting to make this possible. In her free time Fiona likes to dance, hike, knit, and hangout with her dog. 

Samantha Wong

Samantha Wong is a Junior at Binghamton University pursuing a B.S. in Environmental Science and minor in Geographic Information Systems. She is interested in the global impact of climate change, especially in urban areas. Additionally, she is excited to learn more about environmental policy and how students can advocate for change which led her to Our Climate. In her free time Samantha likes to swim, watch TV, and cook.

Erin Zipman

Erin Zipman is a high school senior on Long Island. She is looking forward to studying Communications and Environmental Studies in college, and to learn more about social justice. She has begun organizing with other young people in her community. With the help of Our Climate, Erin is excited to learn about her place in the environmental movement, how to take action and also elevate the voices of others. In her free time, she enjoys biking, reading, painting and drawing. 

Sophia Howard

Sophia Howard is a junior at Binghamton University pursuing a B.S in biology. She grew up in a rural area in New York, and is interested in working towards climate change solutions to preserve our world. She is eager to learn to work with elected officials to advocate for science-based climate policies with Our Climate. Her interests/ hobbies include diving, eating, and spending time with friends.

Josie Helm

Josie is a sophomore at the Brearley School in Manhattan. She enjoys biology, writing, and history. An executive committee member of DAIS, the Diversity Awareness Initiative for Students, she is passionate about social justice and believes climate change is inherently intersected with social justice. She believes that significant reform in environmental policy as well as a just transition to clean energy are not only important but vital for the future of our Earth. As a young person, she is eager to meet with politicians, write in favor of climate reform, and mobilize peers to learn about climate change.

 

Spring 2020 New York Field Advisors

Sam Horowitz

Sam Horowitz is a Senior at Pitzer College, where he studies environmental policy. For the last two semesters, he has served as the NY State Field Advisor for Our Climate, a youth-led, grassroots carbon pricing advocacy group. He was born and raised in New York City, where his first-hand experience with the devastation of Superstorm Sandy made him passionate about fighting climate change. He spent this past summer as the resilience intern at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, where he supported first of its kind research on the impacts of climate change on city economic competitiveness. He currently serves as the L.A. Regional Director for the California Young Democrats Environmental Caucus, and was previously the President of the Democrats of the Claremont Colleges, where he organized students for the 2018 midterm elections and helped make the Claremont Colleges some of the most civically engaged schools in the country. 

Maya Navabi

Maya Navabi is a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York pursuing a BSE in Mechanical Engineering. Coming from the Sonoran Desert, she grew up learning about water scarcity and environmental conservation in a unique ecosystem. After graduation, she wants to work in the Renewable Energy sector to make it more accessible for everyone. Along with Our Climate, Maya is the chairperson of RPI’s Student Sustainability Task Force, and tries to incorporate sustainability into every conversation she has.

Oregon Fellows

Alexander O'Keefe

Alexander O’Keefe is a senior at Oregon State University (OSU) doubling majoring in Political Science, Sustainability with a minor in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. With a diverse educational background and a fellowship with Our Climate, Alex hopes to help tackle pressing environmental issues such as species extinction and climate change through political action. Alex aims to pursue a Master’s Degree following his graduation at OSU and work on environmental policy/legislation both domestically and internationally.

Camille Piazza

Camille Piazza, 23, graduated from Reed College with a Bachelors in English Literature in December of 2018. While participating in Our Climate’s fellowship program, she works part-time at a local farm-to-table bakery in Creswell, and as a writer for the non-profit organization, Our Children’s Trust, that has filed the famous federal lawsuit, Juliana vs. US. Camille spends her free time cooking, riding her bike, and drinking from a reusable water bottle.

Anna Kemper

Anna Kemper graduated from Western Washington University in 2018 with a BA in Energy Policy and Management. She currently works for a residential and commercial solar installation company in Portland, OR. Through her work at Our Climate, as well as through local organizing and nonprofits she is dedicated to creating a liveable future by engaging in climate activism and local policy. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading, running, climbing, and gently encouraging friends and strangers to register to vote.

Washington State Fellows

Adilia Watson

Adilia is an Environmental Studies major and Writing minor at Seattle University. She aspires to be a journalist and environmental writer. Originally from Stockton, California, her interest in the environment has increased since going to school in the Pacific Northwest. As a Doris Duke Fellowship Alumni, she wants to continue her work in fighting climate change. She loves staying busy by working on her blog, Accidie and Affection, or having fun at a Jamaican Dancehall class!

Chloe Brush

Chloe has spent the majority of her life in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives in Bellingham for most of the year. Entering her third year at Western Washington University, she is a student of Western’s Huxley College of the Environment where she is majoring in Environmental Studies and is looking to focus on environmental policy. She is also a member of Western’s Environmental Justice Committee, as well as an avid volunteer at the farm on Western’s campus. When she isn’t studying, Chloe can be found gardening, watching cult classic films with friends, or checking out new hot yoga studios around town.

Jalyn Boado

Jalyn is a Sophomore at Saint Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington studying Political Science. She is passionate about the issue of climate justice. Specifically, about environmental equity issues that affect low-income communities and communities of color. Jalyn is a leader and mentor on her campus and she is involved with the Catholic Relief Service which takes a faith-based approach to climate change. In the future, she is looking forward to learning more about climate policy.

Lela Cooper

Lela is a senior at The University of Washington majoring in Environmental Studies, and minoring in Urban Design and Planning, and Danish. She grew up in Eastern Washington, and credits the natural environment of the region, as well as seeing the increased impacts of wildfires and other climate change related events as spurring her original interests in climate action, and environmental awareness. She loves learning languages, and while at UW, she has studied both Danish, and Inuktitut, and hopes to use these skills to further engage with Arctic communities in the future, to understand how climate change has impacted the region. Lela is excited about working with Our Climate to better understand how climate policy works in Washington, and to work alongside other young leaders to help spur further climate action.

Cassidy Giampetro

Cassidy Giampetro is originally from Miami, Florida and graduated from Seattle University in June 2019 with a degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies. She is currently working for a nonprofit on the Eastside of King County supervising a coalition that works towards transportation accessibility. Cassidy is passionate about environmental policy and specifically international sustainable development, focusing on the intersection of environmental justice and sustainability with political economy issues.

Emi Grant

Emi is a second-year student at Seattle University studying creative writing. Growing up in the city of Olympia, Emi lived only blocks away from the Capitol building and has been immersed in the world of policymaking and community organizing as long as she can remember. She first found her passion for environmental justice during a spring break service-learning trip to New Orleans. After unpacking the undeniable impacts of not only climate change, but the systematic injustices imposed by the US government during Hurricane Katrina, Emi knew that climate change was even more complex and dire than it appeared to be. Now, she is using her passion for writing to advocate for climate justice on campus and in her community.

Tony Horton

Tony was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska and relocated to Spokane, WA this year. Growing up so close to forests, glaciers, and mountains, while living in a city comprising of great degrees of diversity, he has been exposed to many perspectives in a state that has a lot to lose in this climate fight. After being a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where he was pursuing a BS in Environment & Society, he has decided to transfer to a more involved program based in Washington. Tony's environmental action began with informal education and resulted in a dietary shift to a plant-based diet. Prior to returning home to Alaska this summer, he felt climate action was important. However, after experiencing extreme wildfires, learning of coastal degradation leading to permanent indigenous relocation, and receding glacial activity this past summer, he recognized the need to play a more active role in the solution. This September, Tony participated in the Global Climate Strike, became involved with the Sunrise Movement of Eastern Washington, and has become politically active on a local level, which has included testifying in recent council meetings to champion climate action. Tony believes that humans can have a positive, symbiotic relationship with the environment, and advocates for policy and science-based advancement.

Caitlinn Santiesteban

Caitlinn is completing her final year at Western Washington University where she is studying Business and Sustainability and minoring in Business Administration. Originally from a small town in the foothills of the Northern Cascades, Caitlinn grew up connected to her natural environment recognizing the urgency of pursing an education and career devoted to environmental and clean energy solutions to ensure a path to a more sustainable future. Post college, she is planning to become involved in developing communities that are wanting to implement sustainable agricultural practices to increase food security, and to focus on decreasing dependence of fossil fuels in farming to further improve financial equity and stability for farmers. Outside of her work and academic schedule, she loves to play piano, hike, paddleboard, attend music events, and create her own individual learning projects outside of her education.

Shay Steeves

Shay is a freshman at the University of Washington in Seattle double majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Originally from Puyallup, Washington, Shay got her start in the environmental scene by volunteering with the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium on their conservation engagement interpretation and leadership team for four years. Through this she has helped plan and been a speaker at the Puget Sound Youth Ocean Conservation Summit, given testimony and lobbied legislators in the Washington State Capital, and has helped plan and execute conservation projects in her community, as well as doing citizen science work. She has also been involved in the Tacoma Youth Climate Strike as a planner and speaker alongside the Sunrise Movement, and 350 Tacoma. Her goal is to one day work in government advocating for environmental policy and sustainability.

Sarah Griffin

Sarah is a recent graduate from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Her close study of U.S. Politics over the last four years has convinced her that state and local levels of government offer the most effective avenue for environmental policy change and advocacy. Interning with three state representatives during the 2018 Washington Legislative Session, Sarah developed a passion for state politics and a desire to get involved with the legislative process and community organizing. She is very excited to be a Climate Fellow and is looking forward to collaborating with young people to pass equitable, science-based policy and combat climate change.

'20 Florida Fellows

Mary-Elizabeth Estrada

 

Mary-Elizabeth (aka Mary Liz) is a grad student at USF mastering in Global Sustainability with concentrations in both Sustainable Policy and Sustainable Tourism. In recent years, she has been very dedicated to reducing her individual ecological footprint. However, she realized that in order to make a sizable difference, policy and institutional change must take place. Being an Our Climate fellow is helping her learn and gain the experience to lobby for environmental policy  and help educate the public about putting a price on pollution.

Kala Tedder

Kala Tedder is a 2nd-year Political Science and Environmental Science & Policy dual degree student at the University of South Florida, Tampa campus. Her political involvement stems back to the 2016 election, where she first gained experience doing fieldwork. Later, in 2018 she became the Chairwoman of Florida High School Democrats and also ran for the Polk County School Board. Her passions include environmental justice and education advocacy.

Moises Martinez

Moises Martinez is an undergraduate student at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL studying Environmental Studies and minoring in Political Science. He is originally from South Florida and serves in the FAMU Rattlers band. He is excited to work with other like-minded people in this fight against climate change.

Alyssa Lenkel

Alyssa Lenkel is a junior at Florida Southern College studying Environmental Studies and
Marine Biology, with a minor in Business Administration. Originally from New Jersey, she came
to Florida to pursue her dream of protecting our environment, and helping to mitigate the harsh
effects of climate change. Through the Our Climate Fellowship, she hopes to grow as a scientist,
leader, and environmental policy advocate.

Natasha De La Cruz

Natasha De La Cruz is currently studying environmental science at Florida State University and will be graduating this spring. After she graduates, she will be pursuing a J.D. in environmental law so that she can help people in coastal communities. As a Florida native, Natasha has always cared deeply about the ocean and aquatic ecosystems which is why she wants to make a future career protecting these natural spaces for people and wildlife. 


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