Living in Southern California my entire life, I have been surrounded with a diverse geography that offers natural beauty of the sunny coast to snowy evergreens in the mountains to seemingly endless painted deserts. From when I was young, I have had an intimate connection with earth that has influenced my academic and career goals. I enjoy hiking, biking, camping, going for a dip at the beach, and gardening. Upon beginning my second year at UCI, I had more clarity on the programs and organizations I wanted to be affiliated with in order to set myself up for the career path I aspire to follow. From the moment I heard about the Costa Rica Program from my Resident Advisor last year, I knew that it was something I wanted to pursue. From my interests in global sustainability and cultural immersion the program captured my attention and sparked a zest for exploration and knowledge that I hope to achieve during my time in the program. Currently, I am a member of the Global Environmental Brigades in which I will contribute to the environmental education and preservation of Panama’s rural regions this upcoming summer. I contribute to spreading the word of sustainable projects happening on campus as the Assistant Marketing Commissioner for UCI’s The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF- yes, like the restaurant). I am also a member of the Anteater’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, a club that has inspired my interest in poverty alleviation and environmental restoration. I can’t wait to dive into all of the wonderful adventures (and chocolate) that await us in-country. I am extremely grateful to be part of the Costa Rica team and I am excited to work with like-minded people in expanding our knowledge of sustainability and to experience another country that has excelled in environmental conservation and protection.