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From Bangladesh to Mississippi: Constellations Intern Wrishija Roy’s Story

Wherever she is, Constellations Intern Wrishija Roy knows that

education, resources and outreach are key.

Wrishija Roy is a rising Senior at Emory University in Atlanta. This summer she is participating in not one but two internships through the Global Warming Mitigation Project’s Constellations Program. Wrishija is a research intern for the Ye Tao Lab at the Rowland Institute at Harvard as well as an outreach intern for Crowdsourcing Sustainability.

Wrishija brings a unique perspective to the program that has guided her views on climate change and public health on a broader scale. She was born in Bangladesh but was raised in Mississippi and notes important similarities that are detrimental to the battle.

“Both places are pretty vulnerable to climate change and to public health issues. In Bangladesh rising sea levels are threatening the population, and in Southeast Asia air pollution is a general problem. In the times that I’ve been back, seeing this first hand along with my education, it’s clear that these communities are unheard and not receiving enough resources to tackle these issues.”

“In Mississippi the issues are similar. Resources are being taken away and a lot of communities are being neglected. Mississippi is unique in that it doesn’t receive much attention compared to other states. Most states are way more advanced than Mississippi in terms of initiatives affecting climate change. In my town we don’t even have a recycling pick up along with the garbage pick up.”

These experiences have caused Wrishija to recognize some of the core issues related to lack of resources and education.

“Education is so fundamental to climate change. Public education needs to be accessible, fair and informative. We need to teach young people about these issues so that they can develop solutions for them in the future. A lot of young people in Mississippi are in a bubble and it’s hard to break out of that without proper education.”

This lack of communication is one of the biggest challenges global warming programs face. When Covid-19 hit earlier this year, these programs and initiatives lost important voices and communities.

“Covid-19 has limited the ability of these different grassroots movements and initiatives to get out and do outreach. It’s so key in combating climate change. Some of the opportunities I had applied to were cancelled and their voices were limited.”

“The constellations program has allowed me to learn and act on something I’m passionate about. Having a community of young, like-minded individuals who are all aware and eager to tackle climate change is great.”

Wrishija hopes to build on this summer’s experience as she heads into her senior year and looks toward a career.

“With the knowledge, education, and resources I’m receiving now I’ll hopefully have the tools to contribute to public health on a global scale. I want to take part in something where the central goal and mission is to make the world a better place and fight climate change. I’m hoping to streamline my skills and interests toward something where I can maximize my sustainable impact.”

Wrishija, second from right, in the lab


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