Arya Pontula is a sophomore at Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. She loves spending time outdoors and enjoys hiking, swimming, running and biking. She is also passionate about befriending new people by learning languages, learning about other cultures and trying different cuisines.
Every year, she travels with her family to a different national park where she hikes and learns about the flora, fauna and history of each park as a Junior Ranger. In 3rd grade, she visited Glacier National Park, Montana, where she was saddened to learn that glaciers are retreating due to climate change, and only 37 of the original 150 glaciers remain in the park. She decided to make a difference by making responsible decisions in her daily life. She plays an active role in her pesticide-free home garden, uses refillable water bottles, recycles and reuses items to reduce wastage and is an ardent supporter of renewable energy sources that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Her passion led her to ACE and she is excited to work with peers towards a common goal for a healthier planet.
Arya's goal is to educate people and enact policies to highlight the effects of climate change, especially focusing on how climate change affects human health, flora, fauna and world economies over time.