“Just because there may be a problem that doesn’t affect you directly doesn’t mean that it isn’t your problem.”
Grade: Sophomore and Tufts University
Roots & Shoots History: Five years with Roots & Shoots
René is a sophomore at Tufts University and has been a member of the National Youth Leadership Council for five years. Her favorite Roots & Shoots project was designing and building a community garden at her high school. The garden raised awareness about food insecurity and the produce was donated to a local food bank. Additionally, René has organized food drives, aided in banning plastic bags in her town, and takes particular interest in inspiring other youth to realize their leadership abilities. At university, René is working to make higher education more accessible and inclusive for all. She plans to use her environmental engineering degree to further address environmental and racial injustice. 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.