It’s Easy Being Green
Allan Coutinho 16’, a sophomore and native of Natal, Brazil, discovered an interest in environmental, economic and social sustainability upon enrolling at Green Mountain College.
“I’ve learned that I’m really passionate about sustainability,” he said, “GMC fosters that appreciation. For example, I got all of my environmental interest through classes and work at school. Unfortunately, people lack awareness of it throughout the world.”
Allan found GMC through the suggestion of his high-school friend who had applied and enrolled at Green Mountain College. He explained, “First, I applied for a U.S. Department of State grant through the Education USA Office in Brazil. That Department sponsored and supported 17 exceptionally well-qualified Brazilian students of limited financial means to apply to undergraduate degree programs at accredited U.S. colleges and universities through the Education U.S.A. Opportunity Funds.”
A Brazilian nonprofit organization named Rio Leadership Institute (ILRIO) also selected Allan to be part of its Prep Program due to his performance as a Brazilian Youth Ambassador and Phillips Exeter alumnus. Allan said, “ILRIO advised me in picking colleges and finding programs in the States that fit my interests.”
Allan thought GMC would be a good fit because of its environmental liberal arts education and challenging academic program. Allan cemented his decision to enroll at GMC upon selection as a make-a-difference scholar. He soon became part of the U.S. Student Achiever Program, a group of the best and brightest students from 12 developing nations who have enrolled to American colleges and universities.
Now looking at the self-design major and progressive program, Allan hopes to focus his studies on communications, leadership, negotiations, social justice, international development and sustainability.
Allan says that one of the strongest aspects of the college is its faculty. “I truly appreciate the faculty at GMC,” he said, “They are well qualified instructors who are intrinsically interested in students’ success. We have one-on-one conversations that help students like me to challenge our own ideas and further develop our understanding of the world, as well as discover our true passions.”
Because of his involvement on Campus and participation in clubs such as UNICEF, Allan was awarded the Freshman Rising Star Award. Currently, he is known as a resident assistant; a student ambassador in the admissions office; a member of the cross country team; a volunteer at the Young at Heart Senior Center in Poultney; an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Images of Nature course; the sophomore representative in Student Senate, and one of the head delegates for GMC National Model United Nations delegation, leading classes and discussions regarding global issues, as well as the mandate of the United Nations and its bodies.
Allan aims to go to graduate school in the U.S. or Europe and then return to his home country. “I would definitely like to go back to Brazil and work for the government or a world- wide organization,” he said.
Based off of his own fortunate experience, Allan said, “I’d like to educate people and help communities to build sustainable systems with strong economical, social and environmental capital so as to truly improve their quality of life.”
By Tim Halteman ‘15