11039762_900442823352876_1576194655_nEugen Florin Cotei  is a junior at Rancho High School, Las Vegas, NV. He was appointed as a NGSS National Ambassador in his sophomore year.

I remember when I was 10 years old, running around the rolling green meadows of the breathtaking European Alps, and playing hide and seek with my sister. I grew up surrounded by nature in all forms and in a society where our Earth was revered culturally. It was engrained in my blood to take care of everything that surrounds me, whether it is a tree, or a small plant in the garden. These are memories that will never disappear from my mind. Living in Europe’s greatest ecosystem is one of the most beautiful things I can remember.

When my parents took the option to move to Las Vegas, Nevada, I was put through a shock that I was not used to. Las Vegas is a hot and dry environment that was foreign to my family. It never occurred to me that I had the power to change the world until I began to go through middle school and high school. I knew that I would never be satisfied to merely creep along, so I began to pursue avenues where I could thrive, avenues which would help me achieve my goals: bettering the Earth and helping others. Through my past experience in leading the Earth Club in my 8th grade year, being president of Rancho’s Environmental Advocates for Life, Earth Club 9th and 10th grade year, and serving on a Youth Advisory Committee for the Southern Nevada Water District, I have learned is that it is never too late to change ourselves and our planet. I have endured some difficulties while trying to green our school with an efficient recycling system and to strive for water conservation in the city of Las Vegas. I have learned that as long as there is a goal or a wish, there is always a path to success.

I am excited about new opportunities for me to achieve my vision, like becoming the National Green Schools Society’s National Ambassador. I will bring past leadership experience to my new NGSS role, such as being president of the Red Cross Youth Leadership Committee of the Nevada Chapter, being a member of the Red Cross Leadership Development Advisory Board, and participating on the Youth Advisory Council of Southern Nevada Water.

I understand the qualities of an exceptional leader. I believe that an effective leader has the empathy to understand topics from everyone’s point of view. I know how to adapt to changing situations and exemplify high levels of personal, trustworthy, and hardworking skills. As National Ambassador I will set high standards for myself and remain true to helping the Earth and helping others, while at the same time motivating fellow students to follow the same successful path. My goal as National Ambassador is to reach out to other students from different states. I am looking forward to getting input on new solutions to our climate problems, and representing NGSS in the local southern Nevada Region. I will strive to educate others on environmental problems and raise the student voice about the issues that will impact us all.