Eight years ago, I participated in the Future City Competition. Mary Queen of Apostles School in New Kensington, PA developed a future habitat in space placing first in the Pittsburgh Regional Competition in 2009. After participating in Nationals, I started high school with a greater appreciation for STEM. Because of Future City, I knew I wanted to compete in my high school’s science fair and I developed a hydroelectric generator in my rain barrel in my backyard. This project earned me a ticket to the White House where in 2011 I received the President’s Environmental Youth Award on behalf of President Obama.
Fast forward to now… On May 26, 2017, I graduated from the United States Naval Academy and commissioned as a Naval Intelligence Officer. Two years ago, I founded my own non-profit organization, Barrels by the Bay, whose mission is to educate individuals about our world’s water resources through the use of recycled Coca-Cola syrup barrels converted into rain barrels. We have engaged over 8700 participants in five states and the District of Columbia, including our most recent program at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival.
As I look back on the past eight years, I have no doubt that being a part of the Mary Queen of Apostles Future City Team molded me into the individual I am today. I applaud the work of the Future City Organization and the sponsors and partners who have continued to impact the lives of so many youth.
United States Naval Academy