SAN MARCOS — Palomar College student and Escondido resident Elisabeth Lewandowski was one of 100 students nationwide selected to participate in a Clean Technology Innovation Forum sponsored by Athgo International. The conference was held at UCLA March 4 through March 7.
Athgo’s sixth annual Global Forum was designed “to encourage young people to get engaged in, develop, and propose new sustainability and renewable energy initiatives in creative and cordial environment.” The event brought students together with an international community of government representatives, scientists, diplomats, experts and corporate executives who gave presentations and participated in panel discussions. The students were asked to devise “individual innovative solutions to address global environmental and alternative energy challenges.”
A member of the Palomar College honor society Phi Theta Kappa, Lewandowski was encouraged by her Palomar College political science professor, Mary Ann Drinan, to apply for a scholarship to attend the Athgo Forum.
One of Lewandowski’s goals is to work in the area of biofuels — specifically helping those in underdeveloped countries achieve a level of sustainability through such methods as using cows as a source of food (milk products) and fuel (manure converted into energy). Last year, as part of a Phi Theta Kappa project, Lewandowski traveled to Sri Lanka to teach at the Bridge2 Peace school. As a result of her experience at the Athgo Forum earlier this month, she is now applying for grant money to bring a cow to the school in Sri Lanka, and thus help those at the school become more energy independent.
“It’s possible to make a difference with the children,” Lewandowski said, acknowledging that change happens in small steps. She said that she was inspired at the Athgo Forum hearing the expert speakers who were “actively making a difference for clean technology.” The experts in turn were inspired by the motivation of the young people, she reported, to come up with ways of helping the world move in a “greener” direction.
Lewandowski holds an associate in arts degree from Palomar College in science and mathematics. She also has two bachelor’s degrees in international studies and Spanish from Central College in Pella, Iowa.
Lewandowski’s career objective is to become part of the Aeromedical Air National Guard.
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