What Drives Me

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During my sophomore year, I was fortunate enough to go to both Belize and Kenya.

Imagine for a moment what I had seen at the Belize Barrier Reef – thousands of fish, with dozens of colorful species. Queen angelfish and yellow-tailed snappers woven between impressive coral gardens filled with purple sea fans and elkhorn coral. Green moray eels six feet long that looked like ribbons when lured out of their shaded crevices. Nurse sharks and horseshoe rays that swam along the swaying sea floor covered in a thick bed of turtle grass.

Breathtaking.

Now imagine that same experience as a desolate landscape. No movement around the once-colorful coral, now bleached as white as chalk. The lack of biodiversity would bring no tourists, but discarded bits of plastic would grow in numbers. That, we were told, could be the future of this beautiful habitat.

The possibility for loss was scary, but I was no scientist and didn’t feel as though I could make an impact. I did nothing.

Soon after, I went to Kenya. There, I was able to hear the affects of climate change from people who had first-hand experience with deforestation. Landscapes that were once documented as lush with foliage had so many trees cut down that it actually changed the weather pattern of the area. In class, we learned of the triple-bottom line which emphasized people, planet, and profit as integral components for a business. With the much-appreciated help of Professor Kevin Martin, I declared a new major at the crossroads of business and environmental science: Sustainable Enterprise, and began to feel like I could help.

That is a little bit about my experiences, but… what keeps me motivated despite the heavy workload? In one word, necessity is what keeps me going. Climate change is too important to ignore and the solutions are too available to not take advantage of.

There is an unavoidable need in the world for environmental action that extends well beyond New England College. We are here, though, and so that’s where we will start.

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