Clean Tech Fund Scholarship

Evolectric Scholarship - Top 5 Applicants

Clean Technology Fund

Below are the full answers from each candidate for the Clean Tech Fund Scholarship. Click the link below to see the questions provided throughout the scholarship application process.

Our 2021 Clean Tech Scholarship Winner!

Yvonne Arechiga!


Yvonne Arechiga

“People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do “ - Rob Siltanen

California State University Long Beach, CSULB
Degree: Business Management & Supply Chain Management

During my last year at CSULB I had the opportunity to join the Hispanic Students Business Association (HSBA) director board. As a new member, I was nervous to apply for the position of my dreams, but I faced my fears and thankfully I had the honor of being elected as one of two Community Director’s during Fall 2019. One of my favorite contributions was being a founder of adopt a highway where we as an organization, adopted a section of the 405 freeway to help maintain it clean for a commitment of 5 years. As someone who is passionate about compost, our land fields and oceans, I was ecstatic when the e-board at the time showed interest during my interview pitch. Although our adopted section may seem small, knowing that I can help prevent our cities and communities from being filled with waste means a lot. After all, change starts within, and we mist be the change we expect to see.

A future dominated by clean technology not only promises the current generations, but future generations a longer life span free of carbon monoxide. With many car companies introducing their own versions of electrical cars, it gives me hope that this technology will be used in the car industry. As someone who commutes from city to city, hoping to one day sooner than later own a clean technology, gas free car is a goal of mine. The good thing is that when this happens, the price difference will not be that different from a regular gas run car.

As the daughter of someone who makes a living from cutting lawns, seeing my father spend a lot of money on gas for his machines, makes me want to help come up with an eco friendly commercial landscaping equipment. Not only would these heavy duty equipment allow small landscaping owners to not spend so much money in gas, but it will also allow for the essential part of maintaining a lawn groomed, un harmful. Though I may not have the knowledge of building a lawnmower or edger from scratch, I do have the knowledge of the specifications that would be needed to make this project a success. Technology is taking over little by little and it is just a matter of time before every product that we bring into our home is run by a solar panel.

Since we are in the topic of efficiency, during my director semesters within HSBA (Community & Social) every event I was apart of or knew about I would highly encourage carpooling. Since I currently still drive an SUV, I would always volunteer to drive members to our destinations to avoid having one single person cars from going to the same place. This ensured that as an organization we could bond more and as responsible human beings, help cut our carbon monoxide footprint down. This is the first time I see a scholarship opportunity related to something that needs more attention!

CTS Campaign (2)

Jessie Flanders

"Just keep swimming" - Dory

California State University Long Beach, CSULB
Degree: Aerospace Engineering

I am a co-founder of the #pinkrocketproject on Beach Launch Team, to celebrate women and diversity in STEM in a unique, 17 foot, 170lb, suborbital liquid fuel rocket. On BLT, I am the Structures Design Lead and Business Director, as well as the BLT Chair for the CSULB chapter of AIAA. I am also a proud owner of a hybrid Hyundai Sonata Plug-In, which I bought 1 year ago with my own savings.

Aerospace Engineering is typically very wasteful: the combustion engine produces a lot of smoke when the solid or liquid fuels burn. I am particularly interested in the use of green fuels in engineering, such as using water, salt water, compressed CO2, or reusable fuels instead of gas. I currently do a lot of research on regenerative engines for rocketry, where the emitted gasses can be recycled in the engine to continuously produce thrust from the engine with reduced waste. I believe this is a start for green rocketry, and I am especially interested in being a part of the green fuel combustion process.

Electrification is tricky, because it currently is very expensive. For example, Teslas are very modern efficient cars, however very expensive. In addition their use of the lithium ion batteries in the cars could be potentially harmful. I believe having affordable, electric cars is a start to advancing electrification. Personally, when I bought my hybrid car, I did not have enough money to purchase a fully electric car, but the Hyundai was cost effective and worked well for my commute (I only need gas about 3x a year, because my battery range is enough to get me where I need to be). I'm not sure how to make them more affordable, but I know this is the best way to promoting electrification.

I would like you to know that I am so much more than an academic leader at CSULB. I have a very small family, and we all live within 10 minutes of each other, including grandparents and cousins. I am extremely close to my family, and they are my biggest supporters for my future career and lifestyle. My family is a classic car family, and we enjoy our holiday drives in old cars. Seeing these old cars makes me love that I have 67mpg, as opposed to their 12mpg! I am creative, and I would love a project to preserve the looks of old cars while rewiring them to be electric, since electric batteries typically last longer than gas engines. Thank you for this opportunity!!

CTS Campaign

Victoria Dam

"Integrating green technology in our future creates an optimistic & cleaner future or us all."

University of Southern California, USC
Master of Architecture, Master of Building Science

Focused on sustainable development (buildings, cities), material development (mushroom parts, advanced plastics, HVAC), and government policies (LA/SF city planning) in my education and work to create healthy, productive built environments. Student representative (multiple clubs) and LEED-certified.

A shift toward more environmentally friendly mobility along with improved infrastructure while supports larger public goals including reduced congestion and cleaner air. Possibly with self-driving technology, low-income groups could be spared the expense of owning cars with more shared mobility (efficient/affordable mass transit) for the elderly, young, and groups that cannot drive (co-existing with private AVs). Advancements in power grid tech.

In order to prepare EV batteries to be repurposed for a better second life, some sort of tool should be built into the battery (or uploaded via the cloud) for continuous data-keeping. Currently, it is hard to track well the battery was treated in its primary use making it hard to gauge possible second-life applications. Finding uses for reduced EV batteries will bring down storage costs allowing more renewable power integration in power grids.

I am a first-generation college student, Los Angeles native who has self-funded the majority of my college education including working three jobs last semester including interning at a construction site while taking zoom classes in a parking lot. I have an entrepreneur spirit and believe in using my skills for the greater good including stepping up for material/sponsorship lead for a 3D print PPE effort ( Thank you for your time.

CTS Campaign (3)

Jacqueline Camacho

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

California State University Long Beach, CSULB
Degree: Civil Engineering

My name is Jacqueline Camacho and I am a senior at California State University, Long Beach anticipating graduation by the Fall of 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. I started as a community college student prior to transferring to CSULB where I chose my career path as a civil engineer in 2016. At the time, the movement for clean and sustainable technology became irreversible after the implementation of the Clean Power Plan. After learning about the actions on combatting climate change, as a civil engineering student, I felt a responsibility to help provide economically sane, effective, and innovative solutions to the challenges of sustainability. My desire to combat the challenges of climate change is demonstrated through my leadership roles at the university. I was extended an offer that I whole heartedly accepted to become Co-Project Manager of what is known as the Timber-Design Build Project for the annual Pacific Southwest Conference. For this project, our mission is to construct a building made of wood that is sustainable and structurally durable with an end task of the recycling and reuse of the structure post competition. The choice of wood is a part of our sustainable design because wood is a sustainable building material and manufacturing it uses less energy than producing other materials such as steel or concrete, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Although climate change is not fixed through a single project, I am confident that our efforts in successfully producing an effective and sustainable structure can inspire other generations in performing their best through continued efforts to produce sustainable structures. Through proper education funded by financial aid, I can continue my education and participation in civil engineering and learn about the many ways I can practice sustainability in the field and make a difference within communities.

A future dominated by clean technology, electrified mobility and renewable energy sources looks like a world that moves toward a global balance in resource utilization in support of all rights to environmental, human, ecological and economic health. As the human population increases, we create a more unsustainable world. We create a lack of abundance where resources to meet humanity’s basic needs become scarce creating an unstable and unsafe environment that endangers many populations. Transforming society and moving towards a sustainable future would mean breaking down sustainability into different sectors and addressing the different challenges that come within each sector in addition to learning who and what is at a disadvantage versus an advantage. The analysis of such will permit for the gradual and effective transition into a more sustainable world enabling us to live in a healthier environment.

Advancing electrification can be accomplished by starting the process with private companies and working on the distribution and costs of electric vehicles. Currently, Tesla is the largest electric car vehicle manufacturer while other car manufacturers continue to produce combustion engine vehicles that are far more affordable. In addition, Tesla does not have the production capabilities needed for supply and demand to meet. One solution can be to reduce the costs on electric vehicles by having more car manufacturers produce them so that cost does not go up due to the demand outgrowing the supply. Also, reducing the costs of the batteries can help reduce the overall price of vehicles. In addition to reducing the cost of the batteries themselves, advanced battery technology can lead to the use of less batteries so that there is more space and lighter vehicles and potentially less cost. However, because car purchasing is a fun and emotional component to the purchaser, the cost is not always the barrier to purchasing an electric vehicle, but more so the different luxurious brands and statements that influence buyers. If more car manufacturers, influencers, and policymakers can join the movement towards electric vehicles (as some already have) it can become a trend that can then be followed by the masses leading to less combustion engine vehicles on the road. It is a challenging advancement because there needs to be more production of cars in order to reduce costs, however if there are no buyers or minimal buyers, there cannot be mass production. However, we must start somewhere, and I believe that if we can convince more decision makers on the transition of combustion engine vehicles to electric motors and batteries by promoting equal benefit to all parties, effective change can be accomplished and the battle towards sustainability and clean technology can be victorious.

CTS Campaign (4)

Angelica Nino

“Do what brings you joy, and your purpose will unfold.” - Iyanla Vanzant

California State University Dominguez Hills
Degree: Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy

During my undergrad, I was a softball team rep on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, helping to organize community service events in the city. Events ranged from recycling and community clean ups to large canned food drives. I continue to help the community by reducing my own carbon footprint.

When I imagine a future like this, I see hybrid (and even better, full electric) cars that are more affordable for buyers. This could encourage more people to buy, in addition to more charging stations. More charging stations might encourage buyers to consider hybrid/electric cars because it can eliminate worries about long road trips. I also imagine better kept public transportation options so that people are more open to utilizing them.

I believe that implementing laws to encourage electrification can help to advance it. Similar to the way California charges for plastic bags at the grocery store. Though the option for plastic bags is still available, many have learned that the best way to save money would be to invest in reusable bags. Of course, electrification would be on a much larger scale, but I am sure there are ways to take a similar approach.

Though I do not have much of a background in the field, I have learned a lot about the importance of reducing your carbon footprint in recent years. I am now pursuing Occupational Therapy and have realized my passion for life, in general. I believe that everyone deserves to live a healthy and full life, and I am learning the importance of environmental wellness. I look forward to learning more and sharing the benefits of a sustainable lifestyle.

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