Admissions Events

June 12, 2020

WYSE Alumni




“WYSE has transformed my life and the way that I pursue the environment and sustainability. Having challenged me to think critically on key issues, to interact with field professionals, and to explore more of who I am and want to be, this conference will always hold a special place in my heart. When I began to attend GMU, I knew I wanted to part of the next WYSE, so I did. Being an office intern throughout my college years, then being a JFA, I continued to work to make each WYSE better than the last. In the age of COVID-19, there is still work to do and challenges ahead. Never stop pushing!”

– Dominic Straquadine, WYSE 2013


“When I attended WYSE years ago, I came in relatively shy and unsure if the passion I had for our environment was equally shared by others. Realizing how many people were just as passionate as I was, especially at my age, reinvigorated my motivation to make some change in the world and became the catalyst to help me break out of my shell. The many speakers I gained knowledge from and connections I made have shaped my path to where I am today and for that I am forever grateful to WYSE and the WYSE community.”

– Michael Latimer, WYSE 2012


“The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment has been impacted almost every aspect of my life since 2014 after I attended as a delegate. WYSE is responsible for me choosing George Mason University as my home for 4 1/2 years as well as the friends I’ve made along the way. WYSE has not only helped me decide my future career path, but it has also introduced to friends I consider family, and the opportunity to provide the experience I had at WYSE to other delegates.”

– Jazmin Golden, WYSE 2014


“After attending the conference for the first time in 2015, WYSE has held a special place in my heart. That week exposed me to the world of conservation, specifically wildlife conservation, and inspired me to pursue a degree and career path following this interest. WYSE also taught me professionalism and networking skills, which came in handy through the duration of the week as we visited places like the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. WYSE is ultimately what made me choose Mason, and the connections I made during the conferences I attended helped me obtain internships at both the National Zoo and the Environmental Protection Agency. WYSE is a life-changing experience!”

– Serena Seiler, WYSE 2015

Jordan Fuentes

“WYSE was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. Collaborating with the program staff, alumni, and my cohort from all walks of life made me realize what great things we’re capable of, regardless of age. The experience will reinforce your passion for making the kind of impact you wish to make in the world, and provide a special opportunity to get inspired alongside amazing people that you may never have crossed path with otherwise. You’ll carry the experience and the friendships you make for the rest of your life.”

– Jordan Fuentes, WYSE 2018


“My experience at WYSE restored my faith in the environment knowing that there are 286 other people just like myself working to protect the environment. Going into the eweek I didn’t believe the director when they said we would become a family by the end, but now I can say they were completely right. I made so many new friends and even the people I didn’t talk to still made an impact on me with their constant positive and supportive energy. Even three years later I still talk and interact with many of them on social mediate to keep the memory of WYSE alive and continue inspiring me to do what I love and care about.”

– Emily Ellithorpe, WYSE 2017

“Being a WYSE kid is something I take great pride in, as I found a group of lifelong friends that share the same passions as I do. Without WYSE I wouldn’t have found the confidence to fully embrace my passion for the environment and surround myself with people that encourage and support that love. WYSE will always have a special place in my heart because of the friendships I made as a delegate and as a Junior Faculty Advisor, all of whom I know will change the world for the better!”

– Donnelle Bodnarchuk, WYSE 2016


“WYSE has changed my life. Not only did it lead me to choosing environmental biology as my degree but it opened the door to a family and community of like minded people.”

– Brianna Wagner, WYSE 2012