Student Spotlight: AJ Brito Leads Campus Environmental Justice Challenge
AJ Brito has always been involved in justice issues, using art to help bring awareness. While attending Christ The King High School in Queens, she participated in the Queens Teens Institute For Art And Social Justice, run by the Queens Museum. She also volunteered there, and with a program aimed at helping New York’s homeless population. After graduation, her professional goals brought her to FIDM for her A.A. in Visual Communications, with a planned graduation in 2024. While here, she continues her environmental work with the organization Turning Green, who are sponsoring a month-long challenge in October. We checked in with her to learn more.
Why did you choose FIDM? When I was looking for colleges, FIDM was automatically my top choice because of the classes. I wanted a school that was very straightforward and gave me classes that catered to my major rather than me waiting a couple of semesters. What really sealed the deal for me to attend FIDM was the school’s diversity. I was skeptical about going but my cousin gave me really good advice. She said, “you have to go see for yourself if it’s for you.” As soon as I stepped on campus I just knew. The atmosphere was really nice. I was able to speak with Chazlyn, one of the school ambassadors. I had a conversation with her regarding diversity and if she felt comfortable being on campus. She made me feel at ease when she spoke about how much she loved FIDM and the student body.
You’re a campus rep for Turning Green. Tell us about the organization, and your role. Turning Green is a non-profit student-led organization created by Judi Shils and her daughter Erin Schrode to educate people on climate justice, sustainability, and food! Originally called Teens for Safe Cosmetics in 2005, the organization has many different programs, including Conscious Kitchen (addresses education regarding food and what we put into our bodies), Project Green Challenge (30 day challenge), Turning Green Classroom (activities you can do in the classroom based on environmental justice), and Project Green Course (environmental justice course). As a campus representative, it is my job to connect with other students and professors who have an interest in environmental justice and get them to participate in the 30 Day Project Green Challenge. Not only that but I get to brainstorm and interact with other campus representatives outside of the country which I find really cool, because everyone has such a different perspective. The greatest part about everything is we work as a team to create things.
Tell us more about the 30 Day Project Green Challenge. How can students participate? Every day in the month of October you’re given an objective to complete and in return you earn points/prizes daily for participating. You have 24 hrs to complete the challenge and upload your photos/videos to the PGC website. You compete with other students all over the world and you’re able to work in a team with others. For the PGC finals, the 14 students with the most points in the entire program get a free trip to San Francisco and receive a grand prize worth $8,000.
Anything else you’d like to add? If anyone is interested in joining this year’s PGC challenge whether it’s professor or student, go to https://projectgreenchallenge.com/register/
Keep up with AJ on Instagram @ayefudginjayy.