New Year, New Leaders: Meet our spring intern, Vivian

By Kate Breimann
Advocate, Environment Maryland

   Hello! My name is Vivian Nguyen and I will be joining Environment Maryland this spring as their newest intern. I’m originally from Rancho Cucamonga, California and currently attend Loyola University Maryland for a major in Biology and minor in Environment and Sustainability Studies. I am so excited to start this new journey in this new year! 

 I have been invested in sustainability for as long as I can remember. Growing up in California, I spent much of my youth watching lawns change from green to yellow year after year. Much like my peers, I grew up subconsciously watching the amount of water I used. Baths and lawn sprinklers were off limits and car washes were seldom used. It wasn’t until I reached high school where I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Environmental Science. In 2014, my high school caught on fire. Like the charred walls of my high school gym, my brain was seared with the memories of sky high flames and piles of ash that postponed my school for days. It was all because of a climate-induced wildfire that was fueled by the ongoing drought and chaotic Santa Ana Winds. Since then, thousands of wildfires have appeared around my hometown. As I continue my schooling in Maryland and stay indoors on snow days, I can’t help but think about the “fire days” I had in my childhood and how much climate change has contributed to the increase in natural disasters on both coasts of the U.S. 

These memories continue to motivate me in my ongoing examination of my carbon footprint and lifestyle. I’ve participated in tree planting events and was previously a Park Ranger intern at Lake Roland, but I am more than ready to take more action legislatively to change the way our society operates as habitants of a finite earth. After three years of residing in Baltimore, I have come to view Maryland as my home. I was frustrated when I read about the PCBs in the Baltimore waterways, and I celebrated when Maryland became one step closer to becoming the first state to ban styrofoam. It means the world to me that I have this opportunity to sincerely make a change in a community I call my own and  I look forward to working with the Environment Maryland team in Baltimore. Especially as the window to reverse climate change is rapidly closing, I am ready to take on the tasks and challenges in improving the quality of the environment in Maryland!