My name is Yasmine Bashiri and I am a first year student with an interest in civil engineering. I was born in Long Beach, California but was raised in several different cities across Los Angeles County. Back home, I have volunteered with Planet Rehab in efforts to take care of endangered species and promote sustainability efforts, such as using reusable water bottles. For as long as I can remember, I have always felt a deep connection with the ocean, and so it pains me to see how polluted the space is due to the preventable actions made by humans. My passion for the health of our environment has significantly lead me to become the person I am today; I am currently an Earth Rep Intern for UCI Student Housing. By giving in-hall Zero Waste and Water Conservation presentations, this position has allowed me to effectively impact more people than I have ever been able to do in the past. I really enjoy being able to teach people how many small changes in their daily lives can have such a great impact on the planet, therefore, decreasing their carbon footprint. Although I have learned about many effective ways to live a sustainable life through Earth Reps and the Summer Institute for Sustainability Leadership here at UCI, I know that I can gain a massive amount of information by involving myself in the Costa Rica Program and learn in person about their efforts in sustaining the planet’s resources, as they are a global leader in this practice. I am ecstatic to learn more about my role in the ecosystem and bring back my newfound knowledge to UCI and my community. This planet does not belong to solely humans, we simply inhabit it, and so I believe it is our job to take care of our beautiful planet that we call Mother Nature and no longer endanger the lives of others. As Mahatma Ghandi once said, “Live simply so that others may simply live.”