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People

Turning Green challenges student to find passion, purpose in 30 days

Cami Provencher
Cami Provencher

JOLIET – More than 4,800 students representing 525 campuses, 50 states, and 41 countries participated in a monthlong competition to embody activism as more conscious citizens through the Turning Green Challenge.

Thirteen extraordinary young leaders were selected as finalists and were flown to San Francisco to compete for the title of PGC 2017 Champion and the PGC grand prize from Nov. 16 to Nov. 20.

Cami Provencher, a sophomore ecology major at Joliet Junior College, was one of two students chosen from Illinois as a finalist for this year’s challenge.

Provencher is an active participant in the college’s Student Sustainability Union, a subcommittee of the JJC Sustainability Initiative Committee, which advocates for sustainability as a top priority by reducing negative impact on the local environment.

She has worked on projects such as creating a pollination garden and conducting a water audit at the school. Provencher also organized JJC student participation in the 2016 Earth Day March in Chicago.

Provencher plans to transfer to a four-year institution to further her studies in ecology. Her ultimate goal is to promote conservation efforts through teaching sustainability practices.

The PGC participants are a diverse collective of like-minded students from schools in all 50 states and 41 countries including countries such as the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Rwanda, Indonesia, Italy, Germany and Jordan.

Throughout the month of October, these students completed rigorous daily challenges on sustainability-related themes, sharing a common passion for cultivating a healthy, just, and thriving planet.  

The challenges were diverse. Finalists wrote to their senators, cooked FLOSN (fresh, local, organic, seasonal and non-GMO) meals, became aware of and radically decreased their water use and carbon footprint, changed their personal care and cleaning routines, launched petitions advocating for social change, met with their school administrations to work toward better practices, and so much more.

For information about the Turning Green Challenge, visit www.turninggreen.org.

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