Youth Advisory Board 2013
Youth Advisory Board President
Ashley is a rising junior at Rice University in Houston, Texas, double majoring in Health Sciences and Environmental Policy Studies. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Ashley grew up cooking with her family (ever since she could reach over the stove) and was surrounded by the beautiful culture of her Hispanic background. Having always been a foodie, Ashley soon became passionate about the importance of conscious consumption and began raising awareness about eating organic, local, seasonal and non-GMO foods. This passion began after she was chosen to embark on a service trip to Ecuador through Rice and the non-profit organization, UBELONG. There, she led the nutrition group, working alongside the environmental group, to raise awareness about the importance of health education. Ashley’s interest in environmental sustainability and its impact on our health and on the Earth, has taken her passion for food several steps further. In the upcoming year, she will be working as the Food Rep for her residential college, an intern in Rice’s Wellness Center, and as the co-Chair of Rice’s Environmental Committee. She is also a member the Real Food Revolution Club, where she hopes to be the founder of Rice’s very own Organic Food Co-op and begin a chapter of the Real Food Challenge; a campaign dedicated to transforming college campuses into serving local, sustainable, and organic foods. In the future, Ashley hopes to make a positive and lasting impact in the lives of others by becoming the first female raw vegan chef, nutritionist, and eco-expert on the food network channel, making it possible for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic background, to be able to have the choice to live a more healthful and eco-conscious life.
Youth Advisory Board Vice President
Anna is an incoming first year at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She was born in Concord, California and then moved to Massachusetts in 2001. She has always had an immense love for the outdoors and coincidentally was born on Earth Day! Her interest in environmental issues began my sophomore year of high school when she received an Earthwatch fellowship. Since then she have taken a National Science Foundation sponsored college course, participated in a Sustainability Internship, and been part in her school’s club “Think Globally, Act Locally.” She loves being outside hiking, kayaking, running, rock climbing, and horseback riding, having been an avid equestrian since age 12. Her ultimate goal is to become an agricultural hydrologist, allowing her to study the relationship between agricultural pollution, water supply and aquifer depletion. She would like to be an activist for food system reforms and clothing industry reforms. She enjoys reading Kurt Vonnegut and listening to classic rock. Project Green Challenge has furthered her environmental education and allowed her to make changes in her own life and inspire others to do the same.
Sophia Walling-Bell has always appreciated the environment due to her home in Alaska and family practices, Sophia really began to join in the movement and become involved when she participated in Project Green Challenge 2011. Since then, she has continued to advocate for a more sustainable living style, heading up Project ReStyled 2013, and lending a hand with various other initiatives. She takes advantage of biking in the summer, as well as gardening, and supporting local vendors as a personal way to contribute to the effort. As a born and raised Alaskan, Sophia loves to be outdoors, running, biking, hiking and going on kayak trips. She enjoys travelling to new places, and believes that education is a life-long adventure. Her love for art comes out in her enjoyment of ceramics, biking, knitting, photography and music, and she dreams of one day owning an organic bakery. Sophia is taking a gap year to get some life experience and travel before going to Portland State University. She’s thinking of doing something health-related, but has many interests including food justice, environmental sustainability and Foreign Languages.
Julia Whitten is a sophomore in Environmental Science and Spanish at the University of Alabama, where she is a social media chair for the Environmental Council and a member of the Sustainable Food committee. She first became involved with Teens Turning Green during the inaugural year of Project Green Challenge (2011) when she participated and was selected as a finalist. She has a passion for simplicity and stewardship, stemming from her Christian faith, and she expresses that passion by minimizing waste in her life, eating a plant-based diet, and being a conscious consumer of everything she buys. In her free time, Julia reads, writes, runs, makes lists, and enjoys quality times with her friends and cat. Julia aspires to one day visit all of the National Parks and sit atop a wind-powered turbine.
Jessa West After attending the University of San Diego as an Honors Environmental Studies student, Jessa will be transferring to University of Texas – Austin this fall to finish her degree in Sustainability. She was one of the finalists for the inaugural year of Project Green Challenge in 2011. Since then she has been involved with many programs and initiatives Teens Turning Green is developing and launching, including: Project Green Spa, The Conscious Collections, and Freshman Green 15. While attending USD, she was the committee chairman of Be Blue Go Green, their sustainability club, where she worked directly with the Department of Sustainability to inspire and implement change in campus and in the community. One of her favorite projects was enacting a more efficient system to label foods on campus as well as to provide more nutritious and vegetarian options. She also organized ‘Feed the Need,’ a small, impromptu project to allow students to donate their extra dining dollars at the end of the semester, embarked for purchasing food for San Diego’s homeless. Collaborating with the president of the Student Homeless Alliance, they helped to feed over 60 people in only 8 hours! Since living in Austin, she has participated in Whole Foods Market’s Academy of Conscious Leadership at the invitation of the co-CEO. Also, she is a contributor to in.gredident’s, the zero-waste local grocer, online blog with simple ways to go green and eco-happenings in Austin.
Sarah Vorreiter is a senior at the University of Illinois, majoring in history and secondary education, with a Spanish minor. She currently works as a resident advisor on a floor with the brand new Sustainability Living Learning Community, and has the opportunity to create environmental programming for 62 residents as well as studying abroad in Granada, Spain this past summer. The environment has always been something she has been extremely curious and passionate about, especially anything related to sustainable and healthy food, environmental education, environmental justice, and examining our consumption and waste patterns. Some of her other interests include spending time outside, dancing, cooking, baking, making videos, taking pictures, learning and spending time with the people I love. In the future, she hopes to be a middle school social studies or Spanish teacher, and later go into school administration. It is her goal to implement positive change across the school community that promotes higher self-esteem for students, an inclusive learning environment, and is closely linked to environmental values.
Lucia Iglesias is a sophomore at Brown University. She first became involved with Teens Turning Green as a Project Green Challenge 2011 finalist. A vegan and sustainable food nut, she dreams of growing her own. She strives for a world that is safe, clean, and ethical with the hopes that food and consumer products shouldn’t contain a single toxic chemical. Lucy has a passion for sustainable fashion, and went thrift-shopping before Macklemore. She also has a job at her school’s student-run thrift store. Her eco-hero is Bea Johnson whose revolutionary Zero Waste lifestyle is a vision of minimalism: own just the essentials, send nothing to the junk pile. If you see Lucia you might find her reading a book way up in the trees or frolicking in midair, performing circus arts on aerial silk and trapeze
Youth Advisors 2012
Ellen Spurgeon is a graduating Senior at Indiana University and spent 2011 as the Director of Sustainability for IU’s student government. She studies Psychology, as well as Design Trends and Society. Ellen has been passionate about eco friendly living for years, loves supporting companies and products that share that consciousness, and finds inspiration in learning about and investing in other ways to live a greener life. She will be spending the fall semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the most beautiful and sustainable cities in the world! Ellen has worked with Teens Turning Green since June of 2011, serving as a Campus Rep for PGC2011 and is now a summer intern in the Sausalito office. She is excited for Project Green Challenge 2012 and can’t wait to see the outcome of this incredible initiative!
Alejandra (AJ) León is a Junior at the Urban School of San Francisco. She lives in Mill Valley and commutes every day into the city. She is part of the Green Team at her school, where she hopes to start a Teens Turning Green chapter. She started working with Teens Turning Green a couple years back and loved working on the BYOBag initiative. She has returned to us this summer to work on Project Green Challenge. AJ looks forward to spreading awareness about safe and environmentally conscious living throughout her community with the tools she picks up along the way.
Lucia Iglesias is an incoming Freshman at Brown University. She was a PGC 2011 Finalist and is thrilled to be helping design PGC 2012. She is a vegetarian who enjoys cooking and gardening. She also loves refashioning second-hand clothing and always brings her own bag. She looks forward to continuing her transition from conventional to conscious in college and beyond!
Alicia Chan is a student at University of California, Irvine majoring in Social Ecology and Anthropology. She campaigned to launch Project Lunch at her high school to redesign school lunch. An active rock climber and savvy DIY-er based in Fremont, CA, Alicia aims to empower youth to make informed, health and eco-conscious lifestyle decisions.
Lai Wei (Tina) was born and raised in Southwest China. During her 4 years in university, she developed a great interest in sustainable development. To follow that passion, she came to the states to pursue a master’s degree in international environmental policy at Monterey Institute of International Studies. During the first semester, she worked with TTG to organize and promote “ReStyled” a sustainable fashion showin the school and won great success in the school.
Viv Pitter is a senior at the University of Southern California majoring in Environmental Engineering. During her time at USC, she has had the opportunity to research bio-sand water filters for removal of biological and arsenic contamination, and the use of algae as a source of bio-diesel. She is passionate about green product design, sustainable food production, music, and her dog Olive.
Nicole Koedyker is a 3rd year student at Drexel University studying Business Administration and Sustainability In Urban Built Environments. She is president of the Drexel University Sierra Student Coalition, Drexel’s only student-run environmental group, a member of the Drexel Green Sustainability Council, and works on various projects around campus in order to make Drexel a more sustainable university. She has a passion for reading and educating herself about sustainability in cultures and business, educating those around her about living a more environmentally-friendly life, and attending various youth environmental conferences. She enjoys riding her bike around Philly to local coffee shops and cooking with fresh food when she’s not too busy with homework.
Youth Advisors 2011
Kelley Fitzgibbons is a 22 year-old vegetarian with a taste for green fashion! As recent graduate of Boston College, she was vice-president of the environmental club and spearheaded fabulous green fashion shows on campus. Living a green lifestyle is part of her everyday routine. Whether eating organics or wearing a recycled bangle, she loves exploring the exciting world of sustainability.
Morgan Gooding is a senior at the University of California, Berkeley. As a toddler, she learned to appreciate organic food at the local farmers’ market. In elementary school, she learned that her nail polish was toxic and chose to purchase an alternative at Whole Foods that was free of formaldehyde and toluene. In high school, she discovered her mattress contained harmful flame retardants and replaced it. Now, she immerses herself in her major of Molecular Toxicology to understand how the many harmful chemicals penetrating our lifestyles act as carcinogens, neurotoxins, etc. As a TTG member, she hosted a Green Spa and Eco Fashion Show at UCB to educate her community about safe cosmetics + organic cotton. She interns at The Green Science Policy Institute, focusing on the toxic prioritization of organohalogens and a campaign for flame retardant policy change.
Hannah McGovern Gross is a junior at Wellesley College, majoring in Environmental Studies and English. In high school, she founded the NY Chapter of TTG, producing many events and videos. She is now co-president of her class, fostering green pride with eco-friendly university gear. Hannah received the Wellesley Environment Health Awareness Grant to host the inaugural event for the Wellesley Chapter of TTG and looks forward to more eco-projects and collaborations in the Boston area.
GG Merkel is a junior at Wellesley College, majoring in Environmental Science and Economics. She was apart of the NY Chapter of TTG with Hannah Gross and helped organize events. Growing up in New York City has sparked her passion for sustainable urban living and food. One of her fondest memories is walking through the Union square farmers market and creating recipes with the fresh ingredients. She has spent the past summer farming in Napa. TTG has empowered her with the knowledge of eco-living and the ability to advocate for sustainable living.
Rosemary Miller is a senior studying education and child development at Brown University. She would love to become a second grade teacher and eventually a child psychologist down the road. Rosemary loves tennis, her dog, sunny California, and being the greenest girl she can be in college!
Constance Nuttall is a junior at the Lycee Francais La Perouse in San Francisco. Having grown up accustomed to organic foods and a healthy lifestyle, she knows how important it is to spread the message. Her interests vary from music to creative writing to expanding her knowledge in all that is green.
Victoire Perez-Vargas was born and raised in San Francisco. The sixteen-year-old is a rising junior year at the Lycee Francais La Perouse, a French bilingual school. She began working with Teens Turning Green during her sophomore year and finds it very rewarding. TTG provides Victoire with the opportunity to develop her interest about the environment with the coaching of a motivated team!
Sophie Sieck is a junior at the University of Arizona, studying everything with an emphasis on political science, journalism, and Spanish. As an aspiring foodie and world traveler, she loves learning about exotic food and travel. Growing up in San Francisco has not only paved the way for an organic lifestyle, but also made it impossible for her to enjoy the likes of In N Out and Taco Bell. If you’re looking for Sophie, just keep your eye out for a girl drooling over the dessert counter at Whole Foods.
Kyra Simon is a junior at New York University’s College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in International Relations and Economics. Growing up right outside of Washington D.C., she became fascinated by the intricate world of public policy and all the sectors involved, all the way down to the ordinary citizen. She quickly learned that each person can play a role changing the world for the better. Kyra spent the spring semester studying abroad in Israel and traveling to several neighboring countries, as well as Europe.
Sabine Teyssier is a senior at Terra Linda High School, who wants to eventually study international relations. Her interests span from writing to traveling and hiking, as well as eating a lot and buying vintage! Sabine is very excited to be part of TTG and spread its crucial and conscious message, while learning more about the environment.
Diana Zarowin is a rising sophomore at the NYU Stern School of Business. She has been involved in environmental advocacy since her high school years, including Teens Turning Green New York. Diana was president of her high school environmental club, served as student moderator for the E4-NYC Science Panel, and founded a non-profit to provide tech products and other support to underserved elementary and middle-school pupils in Jamaica. She is currently the student leader for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign. Her interests include traveling, baseball, and fashion.
Emily Packer, Co-President, TTG: Lifestyles (CA)
Kate Smith, Co-President, TTG: Lifestyles (CA)
Natalie Whalen, TTG: Lifestyles (CA)
Cora Went, Co-President, TTG: Schools (CA)
Morgan Abbett, Co-President, TTG: Schools (CA)
Mattie Kahn, Co-President, NY Chapter Read Mattie’s Story
Ally Shapiro, Co-President, TTG: Lifestyles (NY)
Jenny Osman, Co-President , TTG: Lifestyles (NY)
Zach Hamed, President, TTG: Schools (NY)
Carly Wertheim, President, National Campaign
Hannah Gross, Co-President, NY Chapter
Jessica Assaf, Co-President, SF Bay Area