We're so appreciative of the hard work of our talented interns, so we're thrilled to introduce them in our summer Intern Q&A series. Today, we're getting to know intern Grace Knowles.
Name: Grace Knowles
Where You’re From: Fairfax, Virginia
Where You’re Quarantining: With my family in Fairfax, Virginia for the summer
How do you practice sustainability in your everyday life?
My roommate/best friend back at college is vegan, so I’ve learned a lot by observing her daily lifestyle. She’s educated me about the damaging impacts the meat industry has on the environment and I feel like it’s something a lot of people are blind to the severity of. While I don’t know if it’s possible for a foodie like me to give up meat and dairy altogether, she’s definitely inspired me to follow a more plant-based diet. I rarely buy meat when I go grocery shopping now and am always looking for fun new ways to cook veggies.
What are your future career aspirations?
While I’m still figuring out exactly what I want to do after college, I’ve always known that I want to do something that makes an impact on the lives and communities of others. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a good education and I’d love to give back by using my knowledge and creativity to help others who may not have been given the same opportunities. I’d also love to be able to travel for work, but who wouldn’t?
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I’m tempted to say my mom, who I love dearly but I figured that’s pretty unimaginative (sorry Mom!). I’m actually going to go with someone super out of the blue: Akon. Many know his name from his 2000’s hip-hop/R&B hits, but not a lot of people know that he’s been using his profits from the music industry to start a program called “Akon Lighting Africa” where he has brought electricity to 14 African countries since 2014. He’s also producing his own cryptocurrency to help stimulate the economy in Africa by creating revenue-generating opportunities for struggling entrepreneurs and businesses. I think it’s really encouraging to see a celebrity using their earnings for not only a cause that they’re passionate about, but in a way that gives millions of people a better quality of life. It’s disappointing to watch so many millionaires and billionaires that could have such a substantial impact on the world sit back and do nothing, so when I read about how Akon was contributing, I found it really inspiring.
Pick a song to describe yourself and explain why you chose it:
"BananaPancakes" by Jack Johnson, because it makes you feel so cozy and at home when you listen to it. I wouldn’t describe myself as a homebody, but there’s nothing better than staying inside on a rainy weekend, sleeping in, and making banana pancakes. Sometimes, it’s nice to just take a pause and appreciate the little moments in life because it’s easy to get caught up in this fast-paced world.
Happy International Coffee Day, a whole holiday set aside to honor our favorite change-making beverage!