PGC 2023

Students are our changemakers. The next generation is our future. Action is our collective hope.

Throughout October 2023, our 13th annual global initiative activated thousands of passionate, purpose-driven participants from more than 538 schools in 48 states and 58 nations. All of the contributions, time, energy, heart, dedication and growth are seen and honored by us, schools and the world!

The PGC 2023 Finalists are 14 outstanding young leaders from eight countries — Bangladesh, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iran, Indonesia, Mexico, Suriname, and the United States — selected from an international pool of thousands of PGC participants based on points, depth and breadth of engagement, challenge wins, quality of work, a final exam, and video recap of their 30-day journey in October. Congratulations to all of our participants on your stellar work and outstanding commitment to PGC, climate change mitigation, public health, our communities, and our planet.

For the four days of the PGC Finals, we gathered in San Francisco, CA to celebrate, collaborate, and champion the Project Green Challenge 20233 Finalists. For the next five months (from November 2023 to April 2024), Finalists will ideate, develop, and implement innovative, feasible, and high-impact Climate Action Projects (CAPs). CAPs take a solutions-based approach to a real world challenge on campus or in a community. Students then present the measurable impact of their completed CAPs at the PGC Finals — Part 2 in April 2024. Read more about the PGC Finalists and CAPs below.

Congratulations to all of the participants of this year’s Project Green Challenge and best of luck to our fourteen outstanding Finalists! We’ll see you back here in April for part two of the PGC Finals.

PGC 2023 Finalists

Yash Joshi (Member of Team Flauna Coenose), Jaipur Engineering College and Research Centre in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Yash is a member of Team Flauna Coenose, a passionate group of BTech students from Jaipur, India. Members of this team are engineering majors who hold a collective vision of a greener, more equitable planet. Arnav’s innovative thinking has consistently pushed the boundaries of sustainability, encouraging them to explore creative solutions as a team. Yash’s unwavering commitment to eco-conscious practices remind his teammates that small actions can have large impacts. Vinit’s exceptional problem-solving skills enable the trio to turn ideas into actionable solutions. In their free time, Yash has a keen interest in sports, reading, and writing. Arnav Goyal is passionate about animation and graphics, while Vinit Kumar Sharma excels in writing poetry.

PGC is Ecstasy, Bliss, Cognizance, Revolutionize, and Sustainable.


Brianna Akuamoah-Boateng (Member of Team Water Buffalos), Poolesville High School in Poolesville, Maryland

Teammates Brianna and Sophia are members of the Global Ecology Program at their high school where their courses are framed around subjects related to environmental science and social sciences. Throughout their time in this program, they have become leaders amongst fellow environmental activists, and act as a dynamic duo when taking part in initiatives like PGC. 

PGC is Meditative, Exciting, Fascinating. Stimulating, and Challenging.


Samintang, Hasanuddin University, Luwu Timur, Indonesia 

A First Generation College Student (FGCS) from a small village in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Samintang is a multifaceted individual; taking on roles as a leader, speaker, content creator, social entrepreneur, researcher, full-time worker, peer educator trainer, environmental advocate, accounting student, and coach for public storytelling. She is driven by a deep passion for advocating on behalf of vulnerable populations, particularly women, children, and the environment. Her aspirations include becoming a change agent, public sector leader, and CSR-Sustainability expert, aiming to disrupt inequitable systems and advocate for environmental justice.

PGC is Transformative, Inspirational, Educational, Empowering, and Memorable.


Shahed Anan Sajeeb, Jahangirnagar University in Dakar, India 

Shahed is a third-year student pursuing a B.Sc. honors degree in Environmental Sciences. Originally hailing from the Panchagarh district in the Rangpur division, Sajeeb’s academic journey is marked by a passion for environmental stewardship. Beyond academics, he is a multifaceted individual with a passion for music, dancing, and content creation on social media. His commitment to environmental causes is evident through his roles as an executive member in the Nature Conservation Initiative. This dynamic blend of academic focus, environmental advocacy, and creative pursuits defines Shahed’s journey as a conscientious student and an active participant in making positive contributions to his community and beyond.

PGC is Transformative, Inspirational, Educational, Empowering, and Sustainable.


Aiden Son, Palo Alto High School, Palo Alto California, USA

Aiden, a student at Palo Alto Senior High School, has a passion for the outdoors, engineering, and composting. As a member of his school’s eco club, Aiden is constantly seeking opportunities to reduce waste and educate his peers on environmental topics. Prior to taking part in Project Green Challenge, he established vermicomposting bins at a local middle school as part of his Eagle Scout project to promote environmental education in his community. Project Green Challenge was his opportunity to educate himself on a variety of environmental topics and learn how to make a difference.

PGC is Fascinating, Educational, Challenging, Inspiring, and Transformative.


Manfred Lim (Team member Pathto2030), Jericho High School, Jericho, New York, USA

Manfred is a member of Team Pathto2030. With a focused interest in sustainability and earth science, Manfred has taken steps to contribute to the field. Researching at Cornell University, he has utilized machine learning techniques to predict global soil respiration rates. Outside of his academic pursuits, Manfred is an avid gardener with over nine years of experience in his own backyard. He joined Project Green Challenge alongside teammates Samyra Mahiba, Kimberly Wang, and Katherine Lee, with the aim of increasing awareness on both the international and community level. Looking ahead, Manfred aspires to launch his own environmentally-friendly business, aiming to contribute to a more sustainable future in the business world.

PGC is Enlightening, Inspiring, Memorable, Bonding, and Exciting.


Sao Mai Tara Jessop Nguyen (Team member 50 Shades of Green), Greengates School, Naucalpan, Mexico

Sao Mai is a Vietnamese-Mexican-British student at Greengates, an International-British School in Mexico City in her first year of the International Baccalaureate Diploma. As a child, Sao Mai developed a deep interest in environmental issues when she learned about the plight of her favorite animals – the polar bears. Knowing that her peers often worry endlessly about the state of her future, Sao Mai opts to serve as a source of knowledge and inspiration. Sao Mai firmly believes that every action she undertakes contributes significantly to creating a more sustainable world, and hopes to be able to use her privilege to aid those disproportionately and unjustly affected by environmental issues.

PGC is Educational, Inspiring, Fun!, Challenging, and Revealing.


Conrado Manuel Guzman Flores (Team member, Los Aprendices), Arizona State University, Mexico City, Mexico

While living and working in Mexico City, Conrado is pursuing his online Master’s degree focused on Sustainability Leadership at Arizona State University. An avid hiker and outdoor explorer, he, and his team Los Aprendices, are teaching others about the health benefits of hiking and the need to protect these landscapes. Conrado is most passionate about the conservation of surrounding forests and mountains to improve Mexico City’s welfare, and currently works in the sustainability, safety, health, and environment department of his company where he offers training to the agriculture division sales force, documents environmental legal permits on waste management and water, and participates in agriculture projects like a joint initiative to promote mixed crop systems for coffee growers in Mexico.

PGC is Transformational, Self Discovery, Purpose, Eyeopening, and Hopeful.


Shawn Stolting, Polytechnic College Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname

Shawn, an electrical engineering student, embraces all challenges as opportunities for personal growth and development. Apart from his academic pursuits at Polytechnic College Suriname, Shawn possesses a creative side as an artist employed at a prominent datacenter in Suriname where he serves as a web developer. Taking part in Project Green Challenge transformed and expanded Shawn’s awareness and passion for climate justice. He is now not only fully conscious of the critical issues surrounding climate justice but also committed to becoming a change-maker, advocating for his beloved country, Suriname.

PGC is Discipline, Consistency, Changemaker, Late-Nights, and Knowledge.


Anni Zhao (Member of Team Sustainabuddies), San Marino High School, San Marino, California 

Anni is a high school student with a strong passion for environmental science, chemistry, and STEM in general. She has gained environmental science knowledge from PGC 2023, and is looking forward to using the skills she improved on throughout the 30-day journey, such as campaigning, advocating, and planning, to implement changes for a greener, more sustainable future in her local San Marino community.

PGC is Reflective, Meaningful, Contentful, Refreshing, and Holistic.


Azure Kordick (Member of Team VeggieRex), University of Central Florida, Orlando Florida, USA

Azure is a native of sunny South Florida and is currently pursuing her academic journey at the University of Central Florida. She is majoring in Event Management with a minor in Public Administration and Leadership, showcasing her dedication to effective organization and community engagement. Her passion for crafting, music, and environmental sustainability reflects her diverse talents and commitment to making a positive impact on the world.

PGC is Innovating, Challenging, Thought-Provoking, Rewarding, and Engaging.


Daniel Cirimwami, ISDR, Bakavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Daniel is a member of the PGC Campus Representatives team and has worked with the Turning Green team on global outreach to engage students in Project Green Challenge 2023. He is from South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is a graduate student in Commercial Sciences, studying at the Higher Institute of Rural Development in Regional Planning. Daniel is trained in environmental management and the promotion of biodiversity.  Since 2021, he has been president and community development coordinator of the XR-EXTECTION group, which is movement of young people committed to the protection of wetlands and the fight against deforestation. His passion is to work in green entrepreneurship and he is committed to promoting Project Green Challenge project in his country and the entire world. He currently volunteers with the ANU club of ISDR/BUKAVU, Association l’entrepreneuriat vert in his spare time, from where he is a supplier of reused plastic garbage cans and vegetables in the city of Bukavu.

PGC is leadership. 


Gabrielle Fugate, Louisville Eastern High School, Louisville Kentucky, USA

Gabrielle has spent the last 30 days completely immersing herself in the themes of climate change. She has delved into research on a variety of topics and come up with creative solutions, ideas, and works of art that support the movement to combat climate change. When not working on Project Green, she works at a Fair Trade, USDA Organic certified coffee shop She encourages employees and customers to recycle their cups, pointing out the symbol on the lids when asked if they really are recyclable! She loves to read and write, especially about stuff she has a passion for, which is why Project Green was the perfect challenge for her. With an acceptance into the University of Southern Mississippi to major in Marine Biology, she aims to use this career to not only learn about the amazing life of the ocean, but also what she can do to save and explore it!

PGC is Immersive, Eye-Opening, Beginning, Innovative, and Changing

PGC 2023: Climate Action Projects

Aiden Son: Vermiculture in Action

Aiden’s Climate Action Project, “Vermiculture in Action”, introduces vermicomposting to his high school through the installation of a vermicomposting bin in the school garden. He oversees weekly maintenance to ensure the well-being of composting worms. Additionally, Aiden conducts experiments with various materials to refine and optimize composting bin construction. His goal is to develop a streamlined process for creating vermicomposting bins, enabling expansion of this initiative to more schools.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Daniel Cirimwami: Trash to Pavers

Daniel’s Climate Action Project, “Trash to Pavers”, protects aquatic species in Lake Kivu by collecting plastic waste along the shoreline of this critically important resource in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Initially, the plastic bottles Daniel’s team gathered were repurposed into garbage cans. His team has since expanded significantly, growing from 15 to 62 members who have organized conferences and awareness campaigns. This has resulted in a substantial increase in weekly collection, which now ranges from 45 to 70 bags each containing 60 kg of plastic waste. Daniel’s team is transforming collected plastic waste into eco-friendly paving stones.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Samintang: Climate Catalysts 

Samintang’s Climate Action Project, “Climate Catalysts: Empowering Tomorrow’s Advocate”, addresses the absence of Environmental Education and Action for Climate Empowerment for young people (ages 16 -25) in Eastern Indonesia. To tackle this challenge, she provided various activities such as climate curriculum, climate courses, case studies, discussions, campaigns, and climate action initiatives, offering insights and practical approaches to address climate issues at different levels, from grassroots to global paradigms. With three core pillars — Climate Learning, Climate Campaign, and Climate Action, Climate Catalysts is committed to safeguarding the Earth for a greener future.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Gabrielle Fugate: Foodprint 

Gabrielle’s project, “Foodprint: Addressing Food Waste and Access”, aims to introduce a three bin waste system in the school cafeteria. This will include trash, compost, and recycling. Along with limiting food waste, the plan is to set up a school facilitated food bank, where clubs can get service hours by packaging lunch leftovers into a balanced meal for students to take home free of charge. The goal is to launch this project as a pilot program at her high school and eventually create a system for all of the schools in her district.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here


Shahed Anan Sajeeb: Roots of Change 

Shahed’s Climate Action Project, “Roots of Change”, tackles the critical issues of unsustainable agricultural practices, like the overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and limited food safety awareness in rural communities in Bangladesh. The country’s National Agriculture Policy revealed that 84% of Bangladesh’s population relies on agriculture directly or indirectly. However, heavy reliance on chemical inputs harms soil, biodiversity, human health, and the environment. Through partnerships with local stakeholders including the Union Parishad and District Agriculture Office, Roots of Change engages in workshops, educational sessions, and community events to teach sustainable agricultural techniques, such as crop rotation and composting. By fostering grassroots engagement and collaboration, the project aims to cultivate a culture of environmental stewardship, leading towards a greener and healthier farming future in Panchagarh.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Shawn Stolting: Empowering Maroon Communities by Harnessing Whirlpool Turbines for Sustainable Electricity Access

Shawn’s Climate Action Project, “Empowering Maroon Communities by Harnessing Whirlpool Turbines for Sustainable Electricity Access”, aims to empower Maroon communities in his home country of Suriname by implementing Whirlpool Turbines. Shawn chose to focus on Maroon  communities because they face challenges such as restricted economic opportunities, educational barriers, healthcare gaps, diminished quality of life, environmental concerns, and inadequate electricity access. Shawn’s goals include providing the village of Gansee with 24/7 electricity through green energy and making the village CO2-free by eliminating the need for gasoline-powered generators.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Sao Mai Tara Jessop Nguyen: Creciendo Raíces

Team 50 Shades of Green’s Climate Action Project, “Creciendo Raíces”, focuses on providing Frida Kahlo Secondary School in the village of Raíces with ten blueberry trees, promoting food security through healthier school breakfasts and food literacy through hands-on nutritional education. Situated atop the Xinantecatl volcano, Raíces faces extreme temperatures, leading to a heavy reliance on oats and potatoes and exposing the community to significant food insecurity. Recognizing the intersection of climate change and social justice, the team is committed to addressing this issue, understanding that low-income families will disproportionately suffer from the adverse effects of climate change.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Yash Joshi: Swap2Save

Yash’s Climate Action Project, “Swap2Save”, tackles the detrimental impacts of fast fashion waste through a simple yet impactful principle: reusing. Yash’s project encourages people to pass on their old clothes to those in need, fostering a sense of community and addressing the pressing issue of waste production in the fast fashion industry. By fostering a culture of sharing, Swap2Save not only aids individuals but also contributes to the broader goal of reducing environmental harm caused by excessive clothing waste.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here


Conrado Guzmán: Communications Awareness Campaign for the Legal Protection of Bosque de Agua in Mexico City. 

Team Los Aprendices’ Climate Action Project, “Communication Awareness Campaign for the Legal Protection of Bosque de Agua in Mexico City”, educates visitors about forest conservation. Bosque de Agua is a temperate subtropical forest that covers 580k acres south and west of Mexico City, the source of 70% of the water consumed by the city’s 22 million inhabitants, and home to endemic wildlife and local indigenous communities. The forest is constantly threatened by urban sprawl, deforestation, wildfires, and pollution. The team’s focus is to use visual materials and training to educate visitors about Bosque de Agua’s importance and conservation. Additionally, Conrado and his team have started a hiking tour company, Péeksaba, to guide tourists while teaching the importance of Leave No Trace principles.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Manfred Lim: Soul Seeds

Team Path to 2030’s Climate Action Project “Soul Seeds” is focused on the values of biodiversity, sustainability and the impact of changing mindsets through environmental research. By housing and fostering native plants in the school greenhouse, this initiative serves as a subject for experimentation and data analysis. The team cultivated native plants, monitored pH for soil health, and tested water uptake. Team Path to 2030 aims to create a feasible study and explore the potential for native plants to thrive in a school garden.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Anni Zhao: Waste Wise

Team Sustainabuddies’ Climate Action Project, “Waste Wise”, strives to mitigate methane emissions by diverting compostable waste from landfills. To achieve this, they have installed two composting bins in the high school cafeteria, complemented by informative posters and clear labels detailing what can be composted. Students engaged in the project encourage peers to dispose of food waste in these bins. The project aims to spread environmental awareness and inspire participation across the community.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Azure Kordick: EcoFlow

Azure’s Climate Action ProjectEcoFlow” is an educational initiative focused on partnering with schools to cultivate environmental awareness. Driven by a commitment to foster transformative action, particularly in sustainable living and water conservation, EcoFlow employs advocacy and mobilization strategies to broaden its community impact. Through activities like petitions and tabling events, it raises awareness and garners support for environmental causes across the city of Orlando, Florida.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here

PGC Finals Part 2 CAP Video: here


Brianna Akuamoah-Boateng: Greenhouse Revitalization 

Brianna’s project, “Greenhouse Revitalization”, aims to revitalize the greenhouse on her campus to make it a part of Poolesville High School’s program to teach students about the intersections of agriculture and the environment.

PGC Finals Part 1 CAP Video: here