¡Buenas! My name is Lilliana Sandoval, I am a rising junior at Davidson College in North Carolina. I am majoring in Environmental Studies on a Natural Science Track and minoring in Latin American Studies. I am Latina, my family is from Nayarit, Mexico, and I am proud to say I am a first-generation college student. I am proud of my culture, and I express it through music and personal style. I have ganas — a willingness to put in the work. When I am not working I enjoy going for a run on the trails or dancing at home. I value family a lot.
One of my favorite classes by far was Latinx and the Environment. I learned a lot about how Latinos have been affected by pollution and pesticides, such as farmworkers and low-income communities. I was amazed at how much these topics had overlapped. I have developed an interest in the intersection of these two subjects, which is environmental justice.
I wanted to intern with Sustain Charlotte because I aspire to make a lasting change for any person living in Charlotte facing environmental injustice. I envision a world where resilient and hardworking people who want to see positive change happen in their communities —but who may not have the currency of time and energy— are heard by people who make things happen. To make that vision a reality, I aspire to execute sustainable environmental solutions, build connections between communities and politicians, and engender a sense of empowerment among residents who feel unheard.
Projects I’ll be working on this summer include becoming familiar with the 2040 Comprehensive Plan and participating in coalition-building efforts with Sustain Charlotte in 3 coalitions: Neighbors for More Neighbors CL, the Community Benefits Coalition, and the Charlotte Regional Transportation Coalition. My overall goal is to create educational materials to help elected officials and the public better understand how the Comprehensive Plan will improve the quality of life for residents, and how it coordinates with the Unified Development Ordinance.