[Introduction] City of Bridges

Hello from the City of Bridges! My name is Jessie McGinley, and I am currently with my family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania anxiously waiting to go back to Berkeley and start at Carbon180. This summer, I am going to be a Federal Policy Research Assistant at Carbon180. Woohoo! I am honestly counting down the days until I start… only 17 more! I just finished my sophomore year at UC Berkeley a week ago; I cannot believe I am halfway done with my college experience. I am currently enjoying my summer at nearby parks with my friends and working at my job as a Program Associate at The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), UC Berkeley’s campus green fund. I have had this job for the past three semesters and can honestly say that I almost always look forward to work. My co-worker and boss are such amazing individuals who inspire me to work hard every day and make work fun. With TGIF, I also get to interact with many different people in a variety of environmental organizations on campus including students, staff, and faculty. I am also currently transitioning to be an Advocacy Task Force Leader for The Suitcase Clinic: a humanitarian student organization which focuses on offering free health and social services to underserved populations in Berkeley. As a member of the Advocacy Task Force, I help organize campaigns as well as attend Berkeley City Council meetings and local events advocating for the rights of homeless people. I am currently focusing on advocacy within the student population to save People’s Park.

When I am not studying, working for TGIF, or case working at Suitcase, I love to explore the city, attend concerts, hike the fire trails, go to cardio dance, and try new things. This past semester, I decided to try theatre for the first time in my life by joining Theatre for Charity, “your home for foul mouthed philanthropy.” Also, last semester I joined ski club because I love to ski and snowboard. Without a doubt, one of the things I miss most from Berkeley is my sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. I miss seeing my amazing sisters and eating lunch with them every day.  

My passion for environmentalism definitely comes from my time at YMCA Camp Kon-O-Kwee. I have been a camp counselor for the past four summers and was able to co-lead an eight-day canoeing trip along the Allegheny River. This will be the first summer I will not spend at camp since I was a kid, but I am so excited to be working at Carbon180 instead.

I am majoring in Society and Environment and am considering pursuing a minor in Quantitative Environmental Analysis because I love math. I am not exactly sure what I want to do after I graduate from UC Berkeley, but luckily, I am a rising Junior and still have two full years to decide. I am considering a career in the environmental policy sector because I think it is the fastest way to institutionalize sustainable change on a large scale. This interest was first sparked by an International Environmental Politics class I took this past fall with Kate O’Neill. I was fascinated with the environmental agreements and treaties that we read in class. This past semester, I was an Undergraduate Research Apprentice for a Varieties of Climate Governance Project; I was responsible for researching and analyzing how Poland structures, forms, and implements national climate policy. This  experience exposed me to the vast complexities of the climate policy process. I cannot wait to learn more about the climate policy process in the United States this summer at Carbon180.