My name is Sydney Seldon, and I’m a sophomore at UConn. I am pursuing a degree in Environmental Science and plan to double major in Environmental Policy as an individualized major. Avenues prioritizing collective action and community engagement have guided the opportunities I seek, and my role as a Difference Maker Mentor for the NRCA is no exception!
As the name suggests, being a DMM has provided me invaluable experience working with students as we aim to make a genuine difference in their communities. I’ve learned so much and am thrilled to continue with the NRCA and this nature of work for the rest of my life.
If I were to have a “Mission Statement,” it would be that we all have the opportunity to make a difference in the environments we occupy regardless of the many worldly injustices present or our own individual weaknesses. That’s the beauty of collective action! Despite how weak or inadequate each of us may feel individually or how oppressed we may be, when we create spaces for engaging conversations, nurture those relationships, and collaborate to advance towards a shared goal, genuine change (for the better) is possible and inevitable! Regardless of the corruption that exists in the world, I plan to utilize every ounce of the privilege I have to make the world a better place for my current and future co-inhabitants.
This internal compass has guided me to become involved in various opportunities with different clubs and organizations that UConn provides, including (but not limited to) going on a mission trip to install water filters in Costa Rica, studying abroad in Italy, and most recently becoming an intern at the Office of Sustainability.
When I’m not in class or the office, you’ll often find me relaxing or hiking outside, working out in the Recreation Center, or reading spiritual text. I enjoy volunteering, thrift shopping, and playing the ukulele in my free time. I also have a minor obsession with kombucha, sweet potato fries, and Ben & Jerry’s strawberry cheesecake ice cream.
I’ll end this post with my favorite quote. I hope these words not only inspire you, as they have me but prompt you to truly become the change you want to see.
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.” -Gandhi.
NRCA’s Difference Maker Mentors (DMM) program are currently supported by a generous 5-year donation from the original private family foundation and from a grant (WAMS-2021-38503-34817) from the USDA Women & Minorities in STEM Fields.