We're thrilled to have one of last year's student cohort members, Lexis Meza, join our educational team this year as the Earth Grant Program Assistant. As Program Assistant, Lexis is co-facilitating leadership development workshops, managing our social media, and supporting outreach activities. We thought we’d sit down with Lexis and ask her a few questions, as an introduction to the Earth Grant community.
Name, Major, Year, Hometown?
Hi! My name is Lexis, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Biology and minoring in Latin American Studies. I’m originally from the Mojave Desert of Southern California.
Why environmental education?
Ooof, I could talk about this for a long time. I grew up in a predominantly Latine community where the environment wasn’t well cared for, and it reflected in my education. My peers and I knew little about the Mojave Desert, but we also knew little about the lands that our parents immigrated from. It took me some time to see it, but that disconnection from land and culture negatively impacted the communities we grew up in. I’m so passionate about environmental education because, after seeing how the lack of it harmed the communities I’ve been a part of, I believe it also has the potential to heal them, as well as other marginalized communities who may suffer from the same thing.
Coolest thing you did this summer?
I went camping for the first time! This summer I was car camping in Washington state for two months as a member of the 2022 cohort of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars program based out of the University of Washington. It was definitely an intense introduction to camping, but they must’ve done something right because I still love it!
Favorite Place to Study?
My favorite place to study is definitely ENR2. The greenery and symphony of birdsong create this ambience of calm and creativity that I really love, and I like to think that I’m more productive there.
Go-To Coffee Order?
My ride-or-die will always be a hazelnut latte, but when I need some extra energy my go-to is an oatmilk latte with an extra shot. I honestly prefer hot coffee to iced, but living in Tucson requires a lot more cold drinks, haha.