I joined National Green Schools Society during my freshman year of high school. This was also when I first joined Green Team. At this point in my life, I was concerned for the environment but had never considered a career in environmental science. After I joined NGSS I became aware of the wide range possibilities in the environmental science field. The Green Team has been to several of NGSS’s events, and this has allowed us to form connections. Students in Green Team who were a part of NGSS during their high school careers have gone on to pursue occupations in the environmental science field.

The NGSS conventions, which the Green Team makes an effort to take as many students as possible to, have provided opportunities for myself and other students to form lasting connections. With the help of NGSS, I am able to connect with other green club programs across the country. I have been able to improve the quality of my Green Team through the sharing of ideas with the people I meet.

I began an aquaponics project 3 years, and had been having difficulty getting it up and running. At one of the NGSS conventions, I met a student from another school that was doing aquaponics. We compared our projects and he helped me figure out what I needed to do to fix my own aquaponics project. Other students in Green Team have had similar experiences.

In addition, I remember going to a Green Schools Summit a few years ago and meeting people from Planet Aid who had brought some of the things they had made with the textiles collected. Since our school has two Planet Aid boxes on campus, and the Green Team promotes the use of them, it was a great experience to see the results of our connection with Planet Aid.

My networking skills have vastly improved over the course of my involvement in NGSS. Because I meet so many people at NGSS events that could be potential partners, I have had to develop my professional networking and speaking skills. I have then been able to apply the honed skills to my dealings in the Green Team. As the President, I represent the Green Team at NGSS events and have developed my leadership skills because of this.

Being President of my Green Team, it is my responsibility to set a good example as well doing other tasks. This entails connecting with the students in Green Team and engaging them in the green cause. A lot of the work we do is worthy of recognition, so I am constantly pushing students to apply for awards and grants, which is easy to do because of the awards available to us through NGSS.

I hope to continue to use the opportunities given to me through NGSS to further develop my career in environmental science. Being part of a community such as NGSS is truly special, especially with the uncertainty of the new Presidential Administration. Having a community that believes in the green cause and strives to protect the environment is going to be important in the coming future, and I am proud that my Green Team and I are able to contribute in this effort.