On April 17, Marissa Bufalini, an upcoming senior at Penn State Beaver, was awarded one of four 2019 Student Sustainability Awards by the Penn State Council of Sustainable Leaders for her sincere commitment to transforming Penn State into a leader in, and living laboratory for, sustainability.
Marissa has been involved in Penn State Beaver’s campus garden as regular volunteer for three years and works as an intern on the student farm. She was also instrumental to starting the food pantry on campus, coordinated the 2018 and 2019 Earth Day Festivals at Penn State Beaver, and participates in the annual Model United Nations on campus. With help from a Student Engagement Network grant, Marissa partnered with the Salvation Army to coordinate and host monthly community tables, which provided 25-30 homeless adults and children with meals and activities per event.
“The award meant a lot to me, especially since it’s brand new to Penn State. It made my heart grow. It was indescribable,” said Bufalini.
Marissa, who is an administrative of justice major, also works with the Own Your Own Choices program that helps at risk juveniles understand the importance of making responsible decisions. Additionally, she established a memorial garden for a domestic abuse death and is helping to develop Crop and Kettle, a social enterprise that utilizes the food system to provide job training and social development to community members who are eager to overcome their current obstacles to employment.
Marissa’s contributions to her community advance many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, especially No Hunger (2), Good Health and Well Being (3), Climate Action (13), Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (16), and Partnerships for the Goals (17). Marissa, thank you for all you do for your local, state, and global community!