My name is Kenzo Lacuarta and I am from Toms River, New Jersey. I am a rising junior at Princeton University in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department. I plan on earning a certificate in Global Health and my interests include epidemiology and public health access.
I have enjoyed working for the Sextant Foundation because it’s one way that I have been able to combine my interests in medicine and the environment. Within the Sextant Foundation I am assisting with a literature review for the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine with Manasseh and Trishala. The paper focuses on the current state of healthcare’s carbon emissions and opportunities that could reduce GHG emissions through three different lenses: clinical care, finance, and sustainability.
My hope is that the literature review creates a sense of urgency in the community of physicians and demonstrates that change is possible, whether big or small.
When I’m not working on the paper, I enjoy surfing with friends and making music (as you can see I really like the color green). This summer has allowed me to spend more time with these hobbies and I’m very grateful for that!
What is the most exciting part/moment working as a reimagining volunteer?
The most exciting part is being in workshops with leaders in the fields that I am learning about; these are people that have spent years becoming experts in their topics. Overall I am very grateful to be able to be in the room where many ideas and thoughts are being shared.
Can you say more about your interest in medicine and the environment?
I have always thought that I was going to be a healthcare professional, whether that be a doctor, PA, or nurse. However, when I arrived at Princeton and took a few courses highlighting environmental issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss, I took an interest in environmental protection. Ever since, I have been looking for ways to combine these two career paths!
What is the most challenging task so far?
The most challenging task so far has been handling a large amount of information and sorting through studies that are dense. This is especially true when there are very technical terms and graphs/data.
Do you feel connected to the other volunteers and Sextant staff?
Yes! The daily meetings and weekly social hours have made me feel like I am a part of a team. Even though I have never met the other volunteers in person yet, I feel like we’ll have an in-person social hour once we get back on campus (socially distanced).
Which part of the work of Sextant Foundation attracts you the most (healthcare, engineering, workshops, nonprofit, etc)? Why is that?
The healthcare aspect of the Sextant Foundation attracts me the most because it shows me that environmental work is being done in hospitals, where sustainability may not be the first priority of physicians and executives. I am also excited by the fact that the research that the Sextant Foundation is doing will be used to assist the National Academy of Medicine!
Share with us a hobby you developed during social distancing.
I recently have learned how to build computers and I have started a “business” where I build computers for clients. It has been a fun way to make money during this time and I have enjoyed the challenge of putting the machines together!