Ashley Zebro, a senior theatre arts major at Stony Brook University, has been selected as a Project Green Challenge (PGC) 2016 finalist. She was one of only 16 students chosen from a global pool of 4,300 students participating in the 30-day sustainability challenge during the month of October.
“The goal of PGC is to unite global youth, to be informed, inspired and mobilized, to find the power in their voices and effect change through actions, habits and practices,” said Judi Shils, founder/executive director of Turning Green. “At this moment in time with many pressing issues, these students are stepping up to be the change, by becoming informed and then inspired.”
The 16 finalists will be flown to San Francisco to compete for the title of PGC 2016 Champion and vye for the PGC Grand Prize from November 17-20. Together they develop social action platforms to enable sustainable change on campuses and are mentored by peers and thought leaders across many sectors. At the end of the weekend, finalists present their PGC experiences to an esteemed panel of judges vying for the title of PGC 2016 Champion and a $12,000 grand prize.
“My PGC experience has been a riveting, rocking roller coaster,” said Zebro. “I went through bursts of energy to learn and create, developed interpersonal skills to better my activism, and built confidence in the power and importance of my voice. After the first few challenges, I learned what it meant to dig deep into the topics and align myself with PGC values. It feels really good to dedicate yourself to something, especially for your own educational benefit.”
The PGC participants form a diverse collective of students from schools in all 50 states and 37 countries. Throughout the month of October, these students completed rigorous daily challenges on sustainability-related themes, sharing a common passion for cultivating a healthy, just and thriving planet.
Among other tasks, finalists interviewed farmers about sustainable practices, cooked FLOSN (fresh, local, organic, seasonal and non-GMO) meals, became aware of and radically decreased their water usage and carbon footprint, changed their personal care and cleaning routines, launched petitions advocating for social change, met with their school administrations to work toward better practices and so much more.