Participant Name: Michael Thorne

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Year: Second Year

Pronouns: He, Him, His

Hi! My name is Michael and I am a second-year first-generation student studying Mechanical Engineering. Since I am currently the only one of my family to be attending university, I am doing my best to make the most of my experience and take on every learning opportunity to help me grow as a person.
I have always had a great interest in sustainability and ever since I started my journey at UCI. I’ve always done everything I can to expand my knowledge on this topic. I am involved with various organizations such as Habitat For Humanity and Surfrider Foundation and have gotten involved in various environmental conservation and volunteering events ranging from home builds, beach cleanups, and local service projects. Through these events, I have learned more about ocean pollution, environmental injustice, water conservation, and much more. I also live in the ArroyoVista Sustainability Hall where I have been able to incorporate more sustainable lifestyles into my daily life. My involvements have given me a lot more respect for the outdoors and workings of the world. I have many ideas of how I would like my future to look. Ideally, I would like to get into the renewable energy field as a resource efficiency manager or an energy systems engineer to find more efficient and sustainable ways to operate homes, facilities, and rising technologies.I believe energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact are on the forefront of modern innovation and I want to be able to contribute to a more sustainable world in that sense.
I feel blessed to be a part of the Costa Rica Program not only because it will be my first experience aboard but also because it will give me the unique opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture and learn about how other communities manage to live sustainably. I hope to be able to use what I learn here to help guide my future decisions and further expand my values.