My name is Ria Thekkethala, and I am a rising senior at Ursuline Academy in Dedham, Massachusetts. I have been apart of Green Schools for many years, including being on the Youth Council for the past three. This year, I have the honor to continue being the Vice President of the National Youth Council. While working with this organization, I have continually gained a deeper understanding of the importance of cultivating interest among the community to make a green impact on the world. Three years ago, I started a Green Club at my school. Although my school has fewer than 500 students, we were able to grow our club from 25 students to over 90! We started with basic projects, such as reimplementing a recycling program and hosting school-wide competitions to see which grade could recycle the most. As the school year has progressed, we have completed bigger projects such as creating a prayer and peace pollinator garden, which not only serves as a space for students to relax and de-stress but also as an outdoor classroom! My goal as this year’s Vice President is to collaborate with the other officers and Youth Council members in order to bring the mission of Project Green Schools to more communities. In addition to this, I hope to work with all members of the youth council and be able to help them with their individual projects. I am a firm believer that 1 million starts with 1, so I will work endlessly to help them achieve their own personal goals whether they be simple or complex. I am beyond excited for the upcoming year, and I look forward to getting started!