Leadership and Sustainable Development: A Natural Life Path
Allan Coutinho 16’ is a native of Natal, Brazil. He discovered an interest in environmental, economic, social sustainability as well as development upon enrolling at Green Mountain College.
“I’ve learned that I’m really passionate about sustainability and development,” 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 became a Youth Ambassador of Brazil through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. Then, 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 academic and personal 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 through the support of the U.S. Department of State and Education USA network.
Allan is currently designing his major through the progressive program and Pre-law Certificate. Allan hopes to focus his studies on international development, politics, communications, leadership, social justice, 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.”
Allan has been recognized for his hard work and leadership several times. Because of his involvement on Campus and participation in clubs such as UNICEF, Allan was awarded the Freshman Rising Star Award at the 2013 Honors Tea Ceremony. He was also selected to become an Undergrad Teaching Assistant for the freshman writing seminar named Images of Nature as well as a volunteer mentor for the International Negotiations course. Allan also became one of the NMUN head delegates for GMC National Model United Nations delegation in 2013-2014. He designed a project to train GMC delegates, leading workshops and discussions throughout the academic year regarding global issues, resolutions, negotiations, as well as the mandate of the United Nations and its bodies. On that year, the GMC delegation was awarded the “Distinguished Delegation Award” at the 2014 National Model United Nations conference in New York City.
Among several extra-curricular activities, Allan is known for the work he develops as a resident assistant, a student ambassador in the admissions office, a member of the GMC cross country team, and one of the Student Senators at the Student Assembly.
At the end of his sophomore year, Allan was awarded the “Resident Assistant of the Year Award” from Residence Life as well as nominated a member of the “2014 Eagle All-Iron Team.” Allan is also one of the recipients of the “Green Mountain College Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll Award.” He was also recognized through the “GMC Cross Country Green Mountain Scholar-Athlete Award” at the 2014 Eagle Athletic Ceremony. Allan worked to maintain a 3.9 GPA while competing in varsity athletics.
Allan now plans to attend Nagoya University in Japan for the 2014-2015 academic year and study law and politics as a member of the NUPACE program. Due to his academic achievements, he is a nominee for the Student Exchange Support Program Scholarship, which is granted through the Japanese Ministry of Education and Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).
At the end of his college career, Allan aims to work as an international development practitioner and attend graduate school in order to further his knowledge on international development, politics, and sustainability. His dream is to make outstanding contributions to humankind as an international development agent and politician using his leadership and education as a tool for change.
Based off of his own fortunate experience, Allan said, “I’d like to educate people and help communities to build sustainable systems with strong economic, social and environmental capital so as to truly improve their quality of life.”
By Tim Halteman ‘15