I’m Athena and I want to change the world! Right now, I am in my second year of study at the University of Miami, majoring in Environmental Engineering & Science. I chose to major in these fields because I feel that a lot of the world’s issues could be solved if we better managed our water and other natural resources. With that being said, I like to help people and make a difference in the community. I also spend more time on my bicycle than on my feet so becoming a member of the Bike & Build team seemed like a good choice.
Riding bikes has been my favorite activity since I learned how to ride. When I broke my foot 2 months ago, I modified my bike so I could still ride. It wasn’t the same but it was better than crutching around campus! At the University of Miami, there was no bike club, so a friend and I created one which has raised a smallish community of cyclists on campus. We’re still growing and we rode in circles during the homecoming parade this year! Right now I am serving as the President for the College of Engineering which has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at school. Within the College of Engineering there are many student organizations which my team and I help to achieve their goals. I am a member Florida Water Environmental Association student chapter and attend the WEFTEC conference with them annually.
Before University, one of my favorite experiences was when I got to spend a summer volunteering at the Forest Resource Education Center in Jackson, NJ. Every day was something else but we did everything from lead groups of children through the forest to maintaining the trails to raising awareness about trees at public nature festivals. Without fail, at the end of each day I would have a minimum of three ticks hidden on myself but it was all worthwhile and I didn’t get Lyme’s disease. The next summer before heading off to Miami, I performed volunteer research for the Barnegat Bay Partnership in which we quantified the sea nettles population in our beloved Bay. This one was also risky business since the sea nettles are a stinging jellyfish whose numbers have exploded with our increased usage of nitrogen-rich fertilizers. At the University of Miami I continued to be involved with “citizen science” projects such as the Florida Keys Hawk Watch where we counted the migrating raptors crossing our line of site to study the population of the birds.
I became more interested in social issues as I grew up and realized that you can’t continue to rely on “somebody” to stand up for social injustices in the world. If you see something, do something about it! I remember the first time I donated to the Red Cross was after Hurricane Sandy hit my home town and county. Nothing was the same after I saw MY bridge, the Mantoloking Bridge, on the front page of every newspaper in the country, destroyed. The bridge, along with all of the homes of my friends who resided near the water opened my eyes to the reality of disaster.
I am excited to help others the way that others helped us to rebuild the Jersey Shore. Additionally, my Schwinn Sporterra has been a faithful steed but I am excited to start out on a road bike! I also can’t wait to see America in a way that few have the chance to see it: through spreading awareness on a bicycle.
|Athena has currently raised $2,595.|
That's 58% of her $4,500 fundraising goal.