This Valentine’s Day we’re bringing you our first Humans of SECS of the semester! This is Andy Lona, our Social Chair. Andy is a junior in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and has been in SECS for two years. He is also a part of the Green Observer.
"I wouldn't call it a singular moment when I realized that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping keep our world clean and safe for all beings - it was more of a landslide of events. I came to UIUC thinking of becoming an engineer, but after my first semester, I realized that life just was not cut out for me. I had no ambition for engineering. Second semester freshman year, I was lost as to what I wanted to do and trying to find my passion. I remembered one of the only classes that kept me interested in high school was my AP environmental class, so I took an environmental class and started going to SECS. My sister told me about SECS because an old friend of hers had been in it. After going for a couple weeks and taking this class I knew that this is how I want to spend my life. I've always wanted to get in the business of helping others, whether it be to help them have more secure, safe, or happier lives. Working to protect the environment was the best way to make the most change since it handles global issues. It was a no brainer: I had passion to do this, you rarely meet people with poor character in this field, and I can sleep well at night knowing I am working to better life for all creatures across this earth."
Photographs by Abbi Pstrzoch