Matthew is a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology studying mechanical engineering and materials science and playing volleyball. He loves building projects of all kinds, his favorite being electric skateboards. He also enjoys exploring new places, snowboarding, lifting, listening to music, and nature. Having participated in the Youth Climate Summit as a student, Matthew can attest to the impact that the summit had on him and how it inspired him to uphold high standards of sustainability and eco-friendly practices.
YCAT, High school junior
NYS DOH Public Health Specialist, Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology
Founder, Climate Psychology
Rebecca Weston, LCSW and JD lives in the metro-New York area and is a practicing clinician and Co-President of the Climate Psychology Alliance of North America. In this capacity, Rebecca organizes and provides support for climate aware mental health clinicians. She speaks frequently about the mental health impacts of the climate crisis, the varied ways in which climate mental issues are interwoven with systems of inequity, the psychological underpinnings of climate denial and the need to open compassionate space for people to engage their emotions and step forward into action.
FOOD & WASTE
Founder, Dropseed Native Landscapes
Sonia is an activist, teaching artist and poet. Her activism has focused on educational equity, immigration rights, public safety/police reform and climate change. She has been teaching literature, writing, and humanities for more than 25 years. Her work as a teaching artist takes her into classrooms across Long Island, New York City and Philadelphia where she explores oral history, narrative, poetry, and activism. She has received numerous grants from New York State Council on the Arts, Leeway Foundation, Hearts and Ed Foundation. She has published short fiction, poetry and essays and is currently getting her MFA in Poetry at CUNY Queens College. With funding from the Huntington Arts Council, she is working on a collection of poems inspired by the movement of ReWilding and looks forward every spring and summer to the native flower meadow seeded by her husband Raju.
YCAT, High school junior
Director of Marketing and Communication for Nassau County, New York’s Public Transit Authority : Nassau Inter-County Express…also known as NICE BUS
Director of Sustainability at Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. (GPI)
CEO and Co-Founder
NY Project & Partnerships Manager
MAJORS / CAREERS
Andrew is a junior Earth & Environmental Engineering major at Columbia University who serves as an undergraduate student representative in his department and Vice President of Columbia’s chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Andrew also works as a research assistant at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the Ocean Transport group, studying ocean mixing across scales. Looking to the future, he is interested in applying to graduate school programs in environmental science. While growing up in Homer, NY, Andrew was involved in youth-driven climate action projects at his school, co-founded the annual Central New York Youth Climate Summit, and served as the Assistant Coordinator for the Village of Homer’s sustainability taskforce.
Director of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Center at Farmingdale State College
She is the leader in workforce development and training programs in Renewable Energy in New York State. Most recently she has lead a team of faculty in development and deployment the first state approved certificate program in “Wind Turbine Technology” , and “Sustainable Energy “ . In addition to her contributions as a renewable energy expert In higher education, she has a great passion for working with the young people from disadvantaged community.
In order to ensure that the renewable energy and Off Shore Wind industry has the diverse future workers, she has been getting more involved with K-12. She is working on programs focused on engaging the young people from disadvantaged communities in the offshore wind space. All of her efforts in the workforce training is through the lens of Justice, Equity , Diversity and Inclusion.
Director of Education Science Museum of Long Island
Caitlin graduated from Schreiber High School in 2006, and while attending SUNY Purchase, accidentally fell upon pursuing environmental science as a major. This unexpected turn and an incredible environmental science professor unlocked her interest and passions. She shared these passions as a peer advisor to freshman students and graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies in 2010. After graduation, she entered the world of teaching at the Science Museum of Long Island and gained experience with environmental education interning with the NYSDEC in Albany. After expanding her experience in managerial and administration skills at Old Westbury Gardens and Bailey Arboretum, she recently returned to SMLI as the Direction of Education.
Founder Next in Natural, Private Equity/Venture Studio and Consultancy
Jeff is a 15 year resident of Port Washington along with his wife Kim and 4 daughters ranging in age from 11 to 21. Jeff’s career mission has always been to help make the world a better place, organically. He was the founder and CEO of a company called Gourmet Guru which was a consulting and distribution company that helped launch brands like Chobani and Beyond Meat. He sold Guru to UNFI which is the country’s largest natural food company in 16’. In 17’ he launched Next In Natural which is a hybrid Private Equity / Venture Studio. Next invests in and operates 5 natural and organic food companies including Lavva Plant Based Yogurt and Sky Top Organics which partners with local Amish Farmers to help promote their Regenerative Organic Products. Jeff believes that we are what we eat, breath, and learn and is very passionate about giving back to the community to raise the bar of those areas.