Participant Name: Neda Ibrahim

Major: Biological Sciences

Year: First year

Pronouns: She, Her, Her’s

Hello everyone! My name is Neda Ibrahim and I am a first-year Biological Sciences major. When I’m not doing anything school-related, I enjoy cooking, painting, taking photographs, and gardening. Above all, I love spending time in the outdoors. My hobby of gardening and passion for nature is what first developed my interest in sustainability. In the future, I want to help the underprivileged. Right now I am personally interested in sustainable urban development, environmental management, waste and resource management, and sustainability-related policy.

I come from a diverse ethnic background, as my mother is from Afghanistan and my father from Pakistan. This in combination with my Islamic faith and values has given me a unique perspective of the world that I hope to grow through this experience. Contrary to what many may believe about my faith, it has helped shape my understanding of sustainability as it has always emphasized a critical responsibility for the environment. On campus, I am involved in the Muslim Student Union and hope to slowly increase my role and involvement in the group over time. So far, the Muslim Student Union has allowed me to meet incredible people and work with others in ways I have never done before.

Although I’ve been exposed to several different cultures, I’ve never had the opportunity to be fully immersed in any South or Central American cultures. Through this program, I hope to gain knowledge and a deeper understanding of cultures and lifestyles that I have yet to experience.  One big question I have going into this program is regarding the government implementation of sustainable practices in Costa Rica and how environmental information is implemented into policy.  Overall, I cannot wait to experience Costa Rica and am excited to take advantage of the opportunity I’m getting to do research in such an environmentally unique country.