Jess Yu is a junior Economics major with a minor in Environmental Science. Growing up, she loved to tend to her vegetable garden with her parents, pick flowers, and play in the park. And as she started to learn about environmental degradation and issues such as climate change - she wanted to play an active role in promoting conscientious thinking and environmental education. She believes that raising awareness of ecological and environmental issues will act as a driving force of successful and feasible change. After all, “you have to know a system before you change it.”
Through her Economics background, Jess hopes to bridge the gap between environment and business, She is intent on fighting against greenwashing in popular culture and committing the principles of sustainability to heart. In particular, she also cares deeply about issues such as poverty, social inequality, and food insecurity.
In her free time, Jess enjoys binge watching sitcoms, hanging out with her beloved sorority sisters, exploring new places, drinking tea, and reading humorous celebrity memoirs. On campus, she facilitates a sustainability-focused seminar called Eco-Rep and is involved with cultural groups. She also volunteers to give back to the organizations in and around the Pioneer Valley.
Kayleigh Boucher is a sophomore and a Natural Resources Conservation major. She is from Beverly, Massachusetts and grew up visiting her family's farm in Vermont. She has always loved animals and nature. Kayleigh is passionate about social justice, human health, and the environment and how these issues are all connected. She is especially interested in studying food systems, food justice, and sustainable agriculture.
Kayleigh hopes to empower others to care about social and environmental issues and inspire them to do all that they can for each other and the natural world around them. She believes, as Jane Goodall once said, that "what you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."
In Kayleigh's spare time she loves making art, cooking, spending time outdoors, visiting the ocean, and being with her friends and sisters. On campus she is involved in the UMass Divestment from Fossil Fuels Campaign, Talking Truth, the Real Food Challenge, Plant-Based Nutrition Club, and the iCons program. She is also an Eco-Rep facilitator and the Vice President of the Climateers, a student group on campus for students that care about the environment.
Entries are submitted by project staff and UMass students.