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Current Fellows

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2013 Lead Now Fellows!

In 2013 SustainUS awarded six fellowship spots to young people from across the US who are leading projects to build a more ecologically, socially, and economically just world. Over the course of 2013 they will develop their projects further with the support of SustainUS. If you have questions please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Amira Odeh


Amira Odeh is a student at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, where she has focused on geography and environmental science. She loves being involved with environmental education, activism, leadership, and volunteer efforts. Amira has been involved in organizing events for the International Coastal Cleanup, has participated in community efforts to protect her island’s natural places and is the president of the Eco-Environmental Society. In this group she leads a variety of projects from initiating research and planning conferences to organizing sustainable recreation activities and running campaigns. Through the Eco-Environmental Society she has been able to expand environmental awareness at the University of Puerto Rico. She is currently working to raise awareness about the problems caused by the consumption of bottled water and leading an effort to address bottled water use on her campus. Amira is also a member of the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC) where she trains high school and college aged youth to on media, fundraising, campaign planning, and other skills. Amira also promotes adopting pets, animals rights, and has done volunteer work with sea turtles in Costa Rica.

Project Story: No Mas Botellas


Press Release: English  Spanish

Cat Kindle


Catherine Gannascoli and Kindle Loomis both graduated from the University of Vermont in the spring of 2012. Catherine Gannascoli grew up in Washington D.C. and majored in Environmental Studies with a double minor in Spanish and Community and International Development. She pursued her interest in environmental health and community development by working last summer in Panama as a project supervisor for a youth empowerment organization called Amigos de las Americas. This year she has been working with Common Roots, a non-profit that works to provide youth with education on the food system, teaching middle school students how to cook healthy, seasonal, locally-sourced meals. Kindle Loomis is from Blue Hill, Maine and majored in Natural Resource Planning, with a focus on Human and Environmental Health, and a minor in Community and International Development. This year she has been working at the University of Vermont as a green technologies research assistant taking care of the living components in The Rubenstein School’s newly retrofitted headquarter building. She also manages the South Burlington Farmer’s Market through Common Roots.  The project they will be working on with the fellowship started in a senior capstone class last year and they are very excited to keep it moving!

Christina Parker


Christina Parker is a resident of Oakland, California where she is a child-care provider, succulent gardener, and book nerd. She just returned from a semester abroad in Amman, Jordan, whereafter she graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice. She is currently contemplating life’s next big moves while enjoying some extra time for biking, hiking, gardening, and traveling. She is interested in finding new ways to combine her love of children and teaching with her interest in sustainable development, landscape design, and urban agriculture.

Press Release: English

Jackson Koeppel


Jackson Koeppel is on a gap year from Oberlin College, where he’s studied for two years. He came to Highland Park for the Green Economy Leadership Training, a program run by Distributed Power in the summer of 2013. He has remained in Highland Park through a community organizing grant, and is currently working on several projects in the Detroit Metro Area, including the design and installation of a 3 kW solar electric system on an urban farm, organizing an industry training around the installation, working with a community center on the west side, converting an old church building into office space for local organizations, and rebuilding a house on John R. street, to be converted into a demonstration site for affordable, sustainable rebuilding and renovation. His central work is on Soulardarity, a campaign to install 200 solar powered streetlights in the city of Highland Park to mitigate the 1100 grid-tied lights that were removed in 2011. His work centers on developing models of sustainable, resilient, adaptable communities. He’s done a fair amount of hiking, not nearly enough traveling, a few instances of direct action activism, and has a borderline spiritual relationship with bowling.

Project story: Soulardarity


Press Release: English



A person of several passions, Juan Gutierrez’s devotion to service has molded him into becoming the student-leader behind Eastman Community Garden. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he affectionately calls the Eastside home. A frequent volunteer of the community, Juan is witness to the vibrant culture and multi-generational bond the neighborhood hosts. After enrolling in the YouthBuild charter school, he was selected to co-lead a Community Leadership Project at the LA CAUSA site. While attending the school, he applied to become an AmeriCorps scholar. With college firmly on Juan’s mind, he plans to major in Cognitive Science following his completion of necessary credits from YouthBuild Boyle Heights. Where Juan sees himself in five years, he couldn’t tell you exactly with pinpoint accuracy. However, his love of soccer might make him say something silly along the lines of playing in a World Cup final.

Press Release: English  Spanish



Toni Craige, Sarah Konner, Aniah Bland, and Tyra Davis are collaborating on the Sustainable Cycles & Full Circles Foundation Sustainable Menstruation Project. Toni and Sarah are co-founders of Sustainable Cycles which, works to catalyze a grassroots, person-to-person revolution away from single-use, disposable menstrual products to reusable, sustainable options. Toni is a Strong Camp Co-Director and Aniah and Tyra are a part of the Green Apprentice program at the Full Circles Foundation. Full Circles is a holistic, entrepreneurial, community-directed empowerment track that grows strong girls, a fair economy, and a healthy earth in the Southeastern U.S. When not educating others about sustainable menstruation and sewing re-usable pads, Aniah and Tyra are students at Middle Creek High School in Raleigh, NC, Toni is a massage therapist and dancer, and Sarah is yoga and pilates teacher and choreographer.


Toni's Project Story: Sustainable Cycles

Press Release: English

Press Release - Toni Craige: English

Press Release - Sarah Konner: English