Introducing the Summer of 2022 Community Engagement Interns!

Introducing the Summer of 2022 Community Engagement Interns!

Written by Makayla, Marina and Gina

Hi everyone! We are the 2022 MassEnergize Community Engagement interns for this summer: Marina, Makayla, and Gina!

(We are not super photogenic over Zoom, but then again, who is?)

Marina is a rising sophomore at Tufts University in Medford, but she is working remotely with us from Brazil. As a sailor of ten years, Marina grew up surrounded by water sites. However, in the last few years, she began to notice pollutants like dead fish, plastic bags, and fishing nets in the oceans and lakes where she sailed. After questioning how she played a part in the contamination of our environment, Marina decided to live more sustainably and get involved with environmental protection. 

Makayla, a rising junior studying Comparative Literature at Brandeis University in Waltham, is remote from Houston, Texas. Her enthusiasm for environmental activism stems from not only learning about the environment in the classroom but also the real-life impact climate change has on her home in the form of extreme hurricanes and droughts. 

Gina is a rising senior at Wayland High School in Wayland and came to MassEnergize through the Wayland branch. She became interested in environmentalism through joining her high school’s green team and participating in her town’s trash pick ups.

You may be asking: What do these three women have in common, other than a passion for helping communities adjust to more sustainable ways of living? Well, we all have a connection to turtles (in one way or another)! 

Marina: In the summer of 2018, I was sailing in Salvador, Brazil, with my newest crew, Ana, when she suddenly screamed. Obviously, I yelled at her back because I truly thought that she was just joking around. I was scared when my eyes turned toward the direction that her fingers were pointing. We just had sailed over a giant turtle and when I say giant, I mean the size of a car. We let our sails go so the boat could stop to admire the turtle in front of us. It was a moment that I will never forget, where I felt truly connected with my surroundings and the wildlife.

Makayla: When I was in 7th grade, my choir took a trip to Disney World. My sister was six years old at the time, so she was very upset at the thought of me leaving, even if it was for just 5 days. My mom was similarly upset. One night, they told me to “be a turtle”. Apparently this meant to fold my legs under me, then turn my back into an almost “turtle-shell”. They said later that they were measuring me for a turtle tank, and hence, I was known as turtle (the nickname has since faded).

Gina: In second grade, my grandpa caught a turtle from a nearby stream. We decided to keep the turtle for a few days, but we noticed how the turtle was very sad and did not like the food we gave! Soon, we released the turtle and learned our lesson to not disturb nature. 

Favorite TV show genre:

  • Marina: sitcoms
  • Makaya: buddy-cop
  • Gina: comedy/action

Favorite Food:

  • Marina: white rice, black beans, fried plantains
  • Makayla: spaghetti bolognese (or fried rice depending on the day)
  • Gina: pad thai with chicken

Dream Vacation:

  • Marina: Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Makayla: Mediterranean cruise
  • Gina: Egypt 

Spirit animal:

  • Marina: Turtle
  • Makayla: corgi
  • Gina: Shiba Inu

Harry Potter house:

  • Marina: Hufflepuff
  • Makayla: Ravenclaw
  • Gina: Ravenclaw

Weirdest hobby:

  • Marina: taking surveys
  • Makayla: needlepoint
  • Gina: making room decor

Favorite ice cream flavor (Ben & Jerry’s):

  • Marina: the tonight dough
  • Makayla: chocolate fudge brownie
  • Gina: mint chocolate chip

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