Kristine Bulava, a second-year student at Raritan Valley Community College, is a true community and campus leader. Passionate about sustainability, the environment and innovations, Kristine is using her education to create sustainable change. One of her most successful projects is "Plant 2 End Hunger," which provides a sustainable food source for those in need through a local community garden. Kristine helped produce two tons of food last year, a 17% increase from the previous one. She also is learning about a hydroponic system-an innovative way to grow a sustainable food source-and secured a mini grant from Unilever and the RVCC Foundation to pursue training in hydroponics.
Kristine loves helping people and is engaged in many ways. One of her best service learning experiences was organizing a 5K Walk and Run for disabled children and adults with the ARC Foundation. As Vice President of Scholarship and Service for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, she has organized fundraising events for the hungry and displaced. While serving as President of Enactus, an international entrepreneurial-based organization, she taught disadvantaged youth how to operate a small business and offered financial seminars and college completion workshops.
Three years ago, I left my home in Latvia and came to the U.S to work as an au pair; my dream was to study and ultimately work in New York City. I have always been eager to learn and am very passionate about helping others succeed. College life enabled me to become actively involved in serving the community through service learning experiences. Additionally, as President of the Enactus business club and Vice President of Scholarship and Service for the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, I have collaborated with academic and business leaders to create a better world by creating community gardens, organizing food drives, and teaching youth how to operate a small business. After a field trip to a local farm inspired my interest in hydroponics as an innovative way to grow a sustainable food source, I secured a mini-grant to pursue my work in community gardening and training in hydroponics. My goal is to use my education to create sustainable change and spearhead the hydroponic initiative to teach people how to feed themselves. I also would like to encourage others to follow their heart and go after their dreams, despite all of their challenges.