CONGRATULATIONS to Mark Thekkethala!! Mark has just been awarded  the 1st Annual Green Schools Scholarship of $2,000 made possible by Project Green Schools, the Boston Bruins Foundation and Walmart.
 
We will publicly award Mark for his Outstanding Environmental Leadership at the MA State House on May 19th as a part of our National Green Difference Awards Program
 

How has Project Green Schools (PGS) impacted your life?

Project Green Schools has forever changed my life. Before joining PGS, I had many ideas for what I wanted to do, but no way to make these ideas a reality. PGS is an entire organization centered around its students, and therefore has some of the most creative ideas, projects, and people. PGS gave me, like all of its students, the tools to bring my ideas for the world to life. That’s where I believe the “Project” in Project Green Schools comes from: the emphasis on the action that students back their words up with.

Since joining PGS in middle school, I have taken on a project-based learning approach through which I have many key skills: communication/public speaking, working in a group, planning/executing projects, working with budgets, fundraising, and most importantly dreaming bigger.

Why is an organization like PGS important to students?

“Dream bigger.” As a student, it is easy to accept that there are some things that are too big or too much to undertake. PGS allows its students to widen their scope of what’s possible for them. Personally, I started doing projects in middle school on a very small scale. Then, I went on to complete a project which modeled driverless cars in order to make them as energy efficient as possible. This project went on to win First Place at the MA State Science Fair. I thought this was the largest scope that I would ever affect in my life.

Dream bigger. Next, I was invited through PGS to attend the White House Summit on Climate Change and Public Health. I had the opportunity to interact with Senators, the US Surgeon General, and the head of the EPA. I had made it to the White House, and I again thought this was my limit.

Dream bigger. Next, PGS provided the tools needed for me to complete an international sustainability project in India as a tribute to my grandparents who worked closely with the orphanage where we would install solar water heaters. Leading a project across an ocean, providing hot water for the first time at the orphanage, dedicating a project to my grandparents, and reducing the strain on the environment at the same time;

Dream bigger. Now, I am working with other members within Green Schools to pass legislation in MA to set aside a week around UN World Water Day for education and awareness on how we chose to use one of our most precious resources: water.

This is the atmosphere within PGS is so important in empowering students to bring their creative and ingenious ideas to life. These empowered students along with the tools and resources that Green Schools provides allows students to come out with real life experience within their certain fields. Employers and colleges especially appreciate this action behind the story of PGS students, as I found out when I was offered admission/multiple scholarships to top schools all over the country to study technology’s application in the emerging environmental crises.

What are your future goals/plans?

I aspire to be the “next Elon Musk” (founder and current head of Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity). These three companies have one thing in common: the reduction of strain on our planet. Whether it be through electric vehicles, reusable rockets, or solar panels, Elon is applying 21st Century technology to the world’s greatest problems, and this is what I aim to achieve. My goal is to to harness the power of twenty-first- century technological breakthroughs to address global environmental issues such as climate change, air pollution, and depletion of the world’s nonrenewable resources, while promoting economic development. To do this, I will need the proper tools, including degrees in Environmental Engineering, Computer Science/Engineering, and Business.

Once I’ve completed my education, I hope to start a corporation aimed first at addressing a pressing global issue and second at making a profit. My company would use environmental engineering and the latest technology to develop strategies for reducing carbon emissions, removing excess carbon and other pollutants from the atmosphere, and persuading other big businesses to join the movement towards a cleaner and more sustainable way of life. I see enterprises like this as the wave of the future. They alone can bring laser focus to solving our greatest problems, while maximizing effectiveness and efficiency.

Where will you continue your education, and please tell us your declared Major & Minor if able?

As of right now, I am still weighing my options on which college I will attend; however, no matter where I go, I will be working towards a degree which combines my passion for protecting the environment through cutting-edge technology. I will most likely be majoring in Environmental Engineering and Computer Science/Engineering.

What is your message to the nation/world?  Quote/Statement/What is the essential message we should take away?

Our world is facing some of the greatest environmental crises of our time. We must immediately start working together to apply our most advanced technology to environmental data monitoring, analysis, and prevention. We must empower our students to take action with the tools to analyze these problems and the ability to dream bigger in their solutions.

Thanks,

Mark Thekkethala