René, a freshman and Balfour Scholar at Tufts University, is studying environmental engineering and will utilize her studies to further address environmental and social injustice. As former President of her high school’s Roots & Shoots club, René has organized food drives, built a community garden, aided in banning plastic bags in her town, and her many other projects have inspired other youth to realize their leadership abilities. At university, René is working to make higher education more accessible and inclusive for all. René has received her town’s Community Service Award three times, the President of the United States’ Volunteer Service Award, and is a 2016 HerLead Fellow. This will be René’s fifth term on the NYLC.