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by Justine Hudock
Student Community Engagement, Knovva Academy

Nadia’s a lot of things: philosophy nut (her favorite subject in school); vice president of her local Rotary Interact chapter (an international organization that, among other heavenly music-generating operations, promotes world peace, fights disease, and grows local economies); and helping hand at her town’s food pantry. She now adds to her All-Around Great Kid Résumé her recent acknowledgment as one of only a handful of Summiters to walk away with an Exceptional Delegate letter pinned to her chest.

She’s never read Harry Potter (phew, thought I was the only one…), and her favorite color is orange because “it’s happy!” (You know, Frank Sinatra loved orange for exactly that reason? You two must be onto something…)

Give Nadia a round of applause, and your eyes to this post-Summit interview!

Justine Hudock: GIVE US THE RUNDOWN! What’s your name, where are you from, what year are you in school… and what’s a silly, fun fact about you? 

Nadia M.: I’m Nadia Makuc from Monterey, Massachusetts, USA and I’m a Junior in high school. For a fun fact, I always wear mismatched socks (consistent inconsistency!)

JH: How did you become interested/involved in climate change and sustainability? 

NM: I think in this generation and this time in history it’s impossible to ignore climate change. Especially when thinking about the future, I know that I need to take sustainability seriously now.

JH: How does sustainability influence your decisions? To what extent does your interest in climate change inform your goals (perhaps for a future career, or simply in how you purchase/consume/behave) or who you are as a person? 

NM: I try to be aware of sustainability in regard to my immediate environment by taking care of the place I live by appreciating the beauty, picking up litter, and using its resources appropriately when gardening and doing yard work. I know that climate change will have effects we can’t even predict right now, so the plan that my future will be uncertain.

JH: What advice do you have for other students who may be interested in following a similar path toward environmental friendliness and mindfulness?

NM: Know that there’s only so much one person can do, but there are things to do. Try to keep a wide perspective on the issue and listen to different sources. Most of all, keep hope!

JH: What were some key takeaways from your experience at the Climate Change summit? 

NM: There are so many different approaches and ideas regarding the same issue, and it’s worth the time to consider them all. The more they are talked about, the better the ideas become!

JH: What was your favorite part about the Summit? Ex., friends made, connecting to other kids around the world, the speakers…? Explain, please! 

NM: I loved getting to know people from all around the world. It was so interesting to see our differences and our similarities in thoughts and customs.

JH: What do you do for other extracurriculars? Anything from academic-based stuff, to sports, or other recreational fun! 

NM: I ride horses and like to spend time outside (now in the winter, it’s skiing and skating!) I also play volleyball and tennis. A big interest of mine is aquaponics, which is a form of sustainable agriculture.

JH: Looking ahead, how do you hope to use the skills and experiences you’ve gained at the Model G20 Summit in your career or future schooling? 

NM: I think the communication and organizational skills I developed from the Model G20 Summit will help me throughout my life. Additionally, the knowledge regarding climate change will help me be more prepared to have productive discussions about the future.

JH: If you could invent something that would make life easier for people (perhaps climate change-related…), what would you invent?

NM: I would invent something that made growing food in or near your home easier, so that we could have more local food and people would get the valuable experience of working for what they eat.

JH: Fill in the blanks. The wisest thing anyone ever told me was _____ and it helped me to _____. 

NM: Think before you speak. It’s a reminder to always be critically aware of what I’m saying!

JH: What is one goal you would like to achieve in the next five years (personal, academic, or professional)? 

NM: In the next five years I would like to live somewhere new (this will probably be from college) as I think even if it’s close to home, I will be able to learn about different ideas and ways of life.

JH: Do you have any other opportunities for leadership in your life? If so, what is your perspective on good leadership? What does it mean to evolve as a leader? 

NM: I am vice president of Rotary Interact at my school, and I help out in my town’s food pantry. Both are opportunities where I get to engage in community service, and also develop my leadership skills. I think a good leader is able to do what it takes to meet the goals of the people they’re leading.

JH: Any college plans laid down yet? Intended major/minor? Dream school? 

NM: I will probably go for history, political science, or philosophy and I’m looking at Boston College, Notre Dame, and College of the Holy Cross.

JH: What might people be surprised to learn about you? 

NM: I’ve never read Harry Potter!

Favorite Five

Class at school?

Philosophy – it’s practical in my life and challenges me! 

Book?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – it’s a wonderful story with a good message!

Food?

Lasagna – cheesy and flavorful!

Ocean Sunset GIF by Spring Breakers

Color

Orange – it’s happy!

Quote?

“Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda

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