My name is Rachel Maria, and I have served as the EEC Intern for the past 8 months. Along this time, I’ve taken on great opportunities to meet other Chicago based environmental organizers, help kick off our first community resiliency workshops, and share our mission with captive audiences. Starting this position as a college sophomore studying Environmental Science and Environmental Policy, I had never worked in the Environmental field before. One of the first things I realized in this position is that human connection is one of the key components in solving local environmental issues. In our monthly meetings or at any in person event I was always amazed by the shared dedication to a thriving environment, despite our many differences. This realization of such mindset prospered creativity, ignited passion, and allowed me to explore different aspects of this job field. For that, I could not be more thankful.
A project that I started and plan to continue is increasing composting efforts in Edgewater, especially in larger scales like schools, restaurants, and high rise apartments. I hope to pursue these goals through research at Loyola University Chicago, planning the Pumpkin Smash with EEC, and pushing legislators to support landfill diversion policies. My time at EEC has been extremely fulfilling in developing project management skills and gaining local expertise on this community and place I was so new to. I hope to use these skills in a career in Education and Sustainable Development within Chicago. In the meantime, I will continue to support this coalition which has given so much to me, and I look forward to watching EEC prosper and grow. Thank you to everyone who helped me gain confidence in this position over the past several months!