My name is Tamara Mrad I’m a rising junior Biology major on the Pre-med track at Davidson, and this summer I worked as a Sustainability Scholar. I was lucky enough to get paired with Sustain Charlotte, where I learned a lot about the effects of transportation on the environment, and its consequences on health more specifically.
My primary project this summer was organizing the second annual Youth Sustainable Transportation Fair, where I oversaw inviting governmental departments and nonprofits from all over the city to Arbor Glen Outreach Center, to teach YouthQuake summer campers about how transportation choices affect their health, safety, and community. I was also in charge of finding volunteers to help with the event.
The fair hosted around 100 children from ages 6-15, participating in several different hands-on educational activities related to active transportation. I feel like this was a really important event seeing as we need to educate the generations to come about how important being sustainable is especially in regard to transportation, which has become the sector that generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions.
Through this project, I've familiarized myself with event planning, where I had to coordinate logistics with the venue, coordinate with multiple different governmental and non- profit organizations, clarify the goals of the event with YouthQuake, write a media advisory and finally recruit staff/volunteers and assign each one of them to a station. Another project that I worked on with Sustain Charlotte was helping research additional metrics and data to create a report that will educate policy makers business leaders and the general public about the importance of sustainability. The 2019 Sustainability Report Card is an overview of where Charlotte is and has been on the sustainability front over the last 5 years. It covers land use, transportation, air quality, water, food and energy.
Working at Sustain Charlotte this summer taught me a lot about how to work in a professional environment. I got to do a lot of networking during events where I active engaged with the public, attend government meetings and learn how the city makes important decisions, and much more. But most importantly, Sustain Charlotte gave me a family and a home that I will definitely visit throughout the year, and where I’ll be more than happy to volunteer in the future.