Christy Folk is a sophomore in Florida Atlantic University's Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College whose vision for creating environmental and social sustainability was quickly sparked through volunteerism with El Sol, a neighborhood resource center primarily focused on day laborers and their families. She pursued her interest in sustainability practices related to emigration by developing an internship and service experience to Guatemala where she assisted with donor relations for Brighten the Barrio, a social development project. Her time spent with the villagers helped her develop formal communications with donors on the benefits of scholarships for Guatemalan Mayan students to complete their secondary education. This lessens their need to emigrate for economic reasons. Since returning from Guatemala, Christy has contributed to Brighten the Barrio by creating a Chapter Manual that explains how to fundraise, spread awareness, and communicate with potential donors. She has led a service-learning class project and fundraised at an annual SolFest soccer tournament to get more people involved. Christy currently serves in student leadership positions in the Corn Maya and Environmental Clubs in pursuit of educating others on environmental and social sustainability practices. With her academic studies combined with leadership and service, Christy is well-poised to achieve her vision.
I envision a world where all people have a moral obligation to conserve resources despite the amount of wealth they have. I promote international and intergenerational justice by spreading awareness of pressing environmental and political issues, such as climate change and immigration. According to the U.S. Senate Hearing on Drought, Flooding and Refugees (2009) and in This Changes Everything (Klein, 2014), the over-consumption of resources such as fossil fuels escalates climate change, leading to adverse weather events such as floods and droughts, which destroy the resources and livelihoods of people in developing countries. This forces them to become environmental refugees, emigrating to survive, which results in infringement of their human rights. In becoming aware of their plight, I started volunteering locally to alleviate the struggles that immigrants to the U.S. face. I have traveled to Guatemala to focus more directly on the cause of immigration by working on social development projects aimed at preventing forced migration through education, which includes instruction on care for their local environment. My goal for post-college life is to channel my energy to make a sustainable difference in the lives of others.