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: Composting to Reduce Food Waste

This CAP aims to set up compost bins and provide composting education in local schools, community centers, households, and public spaces. By diverting food waste from landfills, it will reduce methane emissions and provide free, healthy soil for gardens. Outreach will spread awareness of composting benefits and involve youth to inspire environmental action. The goal is to start small with local areas and expand the project’s reach over time, eventually developing a sustainable program.

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Daniel Cirimwami: Plastics Project Waste Management and our Health

The goals of this CAP include collecting plastic waste for recycling, protecting water and contributing to the sanitation and economy of young students, and promoting the consumption of local products by planting fruit trees and vegetable gardens on the university campus.

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Samintang: Climate Catalysts 

The goal of Climate Catalysts is to empower the young generation in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, by providing them with knowledge and skills to become advocates and leaders in the field of climate action. The program encompasses climate courses, case studies, discussions, campaigns, and climate action initiatives, offering insights and practical approaches to addressing climate issues at various levels, from grassroots to global paradigms. Operating under the banner of ‘Empowering Tomorrow’s Advocates’; Climate Catalysts aims to be at the forefront, empowering young individuals to become proactive changemakers. With three core pillars: Climate Learning, Climate Campaign, and Climate Action, they are committed to protecting the Earth for a greener future.

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Gabrielle Fugate: Foodprint 

In my CAP, Foodprint: Addressing Food Waste and Access, I intend to introduce a three bin waste system in the school cafeteria. This will include trash, compost, and recycling. Along with limiting food waste, I plan 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 for free. The goal of this CAP is to launch as a pilot program at my high school, to eventually create a system for all of the schools in the district. 

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Shahed Anan Sajeeb: Eco Farming and Food Safety

My Climate Action Project focuses on transforming conventional farming practices in my community towards sustainable and eco-friendly methods. Currently, farmers heavily rely on chemical fertilizers and pesticides, depleting soil health and harming water and the environment. My goal is to introduce and promote eco-farming practices that are both cost-effective and environmentally conscious. The project involves conducting workshops and training sessions to educate local farmers and students about the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and the benefits of organic farming. Through educational initiatives targeting both current farmers and future generations, the project envisions a community that values and practices eco-friendly farming for the well-being of the soil, the environment, and the overall health of the community.

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Shawn Stolting: Empowering Maroon Communities through Whirlpool Turbines

The project seeks to empower Maroon communities facing electricity challenges by implementing Whirlpool Turbines, drawing inspiration from Belgium-based company Turbulent. It addresses limitations in economic opportunities, education, healthcare, quality of life, environmental impact, and community empowerment. The initiative stems from a passionate desire to support these communities, sparked by a friend of Shawn’s genuine commitment to improving his village’s living conditions. His belief in the transformative power of reliable electricity and the potential impact on education, healthcare, and overall quality of life ignited the project, leading to collaboration with technical expertise in electrical engineering. This project will also ensure that the climate will not be damaged in the future because electricity has been generated green from the start.

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Sao Mai Tara Jessop Nguyen: Creciendo Raíces

“Creciendo Raíces” aims to strengthen the well-being of the community of Raíces, located at 3530m (11,500ft) above sea level on el Nevado de Toluca, a volcano in the State of Mexico. Due to adverse weather conditions, the community experiences limited agricultural diversity and heavy reliance on cultivating oats and potatoes which exacerbates food insecurity due to the lack of dietary variety. To address these issues, Creciendo Raíces aims to initially plant three-year-old fruit trees by April, and provide organic pesticides and fertilizer for long-term environmental sustainability. Beyond the immediate initiatives, Creciendo Raíces will extend its efforts post-April to tackle the persistent challenges of food insecurity and irregular access to running water. 

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Yash Joshi: Swap2Save

Yash Joshi, a dedicated advocate for sustainable fashion based in Jaipur, India, leads the Climate Action Project “Swap2Save” with his team, Flauna Coenose. Their innovative approach 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.

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

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

Bosque de Agua is a Natural Area that surrounds the Greater Mexico City Area home to 22 million people. Bosque de Agua supplies 40% of the water that Mexico City consumes but is under threat by illegal logging and land use change for urban development. There are segregated natural protected areas at the federal and state level, but these are not enough to fully protect the whole integrity and extension of Bosque de Agua. My Climate Action Project is a communications campaign directed at the thousands of visitors it receives every weekend to spread awareness about the importance and relevance Bosque de Agua has on their livelihoods. This campaign is intended to be aligned with local inhabitants in the Ejidatario communities, academia, NGOs, and hiking groups through a joint effort of massive amplification of the message through social media, on site events and information. Also evaluating visitor perceptions and if the message reaches politicians and policy makers to finally protect Bosque de Agua. 

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Manfred Lim: Soul Seeds

“Soul Seeds,” a climate action project led by team Pathto2030, aims to address the urgent issue of declining biodiversity, particularly in New York’s local ecosystem. The core of the project lies in reintroducing native grass species to Long Island, particularly school grounds.This project is multifaceted, focusing not just on the environmental impact, but also on education and mental health benefits. We seek to create a sustainable ecosystem, enrich science curriculum, and improve mental health well-being. Phase one involves the collaboration of faculty, acquisition of project money, and discussion with school administration. Phase two consists of finalizing the project budget, presenting the plan to the school board for approval, and collaborating with local contractors for implementation. A social media campaign will also be launched to raise awareness and gather community support.

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Anni Zhao: Waste Wise

Waste Wise is a Climate Action Project that will be implemented on the San Marino High School campus by April 12th, 2024. By changing our school’s waste collection system to a three-bin system, this action hopes to achieve a lasting 20% decrease in non-recyclable waste generation rate, which is a significant reduction on the waste that gets sent to landfills. The three key principals this project will focus on are reduction, diversion, and engagement. 

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Azure Kordick: Greener Orlando

My Climate Action Project is a comprehensive initiative aimed at reducing plastic waste, particularly plastic water bottle consumption, and promoting water conservation in my community, Orlando, Florida. This project is grounded in the belief that collective and strategic action is essential for a healthy and just future for our city. The primary mechanisms of change for this project include advocacy and policy initiatives, education and outreach, innovation and creative tools, and collaboration. Through advocacy, I will engage with local policymakers to promote policies supporting water conservation and plastic reduction. Education and outreach efforts will involve creating tailored materials, organizing workshops, and engaging the community through digital campaigns.

CAP Presentation Video: here

 

Brianna Akuamoah-Boateng: Greenhouse Revitalization 

Brianna is revitalizing the greenhouse on her campus to make it a part of Poolesville High School’s program to teach kids about the intersections of agriculture and the environment.

CAP Presentation Video: here