Hi, my name is Claire Bodnar. I am a rising senior at Central High School in Springfield, Missouri. This is my first year on the Project Green Schools National Youth Council and I’m excited to take on the role of Vice President. I discovered Project Green Schools in my sophomore year of high school and started a chapter at my school, where I’ve developed my love for the environment and helped others embrace their passion as president. In our two years at Central, we raised nearly $1000 to purchase air quality monitors for our building, surpassed 150 cumulative volunteer hours, and collected over 70 lbs of trash from our community. I have also worked directly with Project Green Schools, serving as PGS Director Robin Buchanan’s student advocate for the office of Congressman Paul Tonko, touring the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle to learn about their sustainability practices, and was invited to the President’s Youth Environmental Awards in Washington, D.C. I have loved nature since I was little, from the time spent working at my grandparent’s farm and exploring the woods by their house. This passion grew stronger when my family became certified SCUBA divers and I had the opportunity to see coral reefs firsthand. I’m passionate about developing sustainable economic models that ensure quality of life for all groups of people, while also prioritizing natural systems and persevering our beautiful world. Through the National Youth Council, I hope to bring more voices into the conversation and create opportunities for others to get involved and make a difference in the environment, or learn something new about sustainability to inspire teamwork and compassion.