image001 (4)Breanne Penkala is a 23 year old from Cumberland, Rhode Island. She graduated from Stonehill College with a double major in Sociology and Psychology and a minor in Environmental Studies.

Breanne spent a semester abroad in Perugia, Italy, studying Italian food and culture, which helped her  find her love for food and deepen her passion for the environment, her community, and her health.

Breanne used this knowledge to start a Real Food Challenge Chapter at Stonehill, incorporating more sustainable and just food in our dining hall.

After developing her dedication for the environment in college, Breanne wanted to take a year to further understand the route of these passions while giving back to my community.

She is currently completing a year of environmental service with Barnstable County AmeriCorps Cape Cod. With this program Breanne was placed with the Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension (CCCE) as the Hazardous Waste Assistant and Water Education Festival Coordinator.

The CCCE has hazardous waste collection sites all over the Cape to ensure our environment is protected as well as our community.

As the Hazardous Waste Assistant, Breanne contacts different companies on the Cape that may have hazardous waste such as road or boat flares (marinas), mercury (HVAC companies), and sharps or needles (health centers); Breanne collects these dangerous wastes at these companies and then the CCCE disposes of them responsibly.

As the Education Coordinator, Breanne plans “WetFest” events that teach elementary school students about water properties, water quality, and how to protect water from pollution with simple practices as well as innovative solutions. In both of these roles at the CCCE, Breanne is working to keep the Cape’s sole aquifer clean as well as teaching children to do so as well! Breanne’s time with AmeriCorps Cape Cod has shown her different ways that she can use her passion for the environment for the better and how to can teach others to appreciate our earth as well. Breanne plans to continue working in the environmental field so she can keep developing my passion and make a positive change in the world!