In her own words

Victoria Basulto

Powerless, the word that best describes the moment marking the beginning of my journey into higher education. I grew up in a small and damp trailer situated on an acre of land bordering a natural bayou and forest. To me, the world never seemed small as it extended beyond the walls of our trailer, past the bayou and into the green beyond. The day that the forest was stripped of its trees and then, was left barren for future development, was when I felt the most powerless. What had once been a lush, endless world of vegetation was now a barren land of cement and mud. At this moment I decided that I would devote my future to the protection of the environment, or as young me called it, “saving the trees.”

Higher Education provides an avenue for changing what we see wrong with the world. It is the greatest equalizer and one that I believed would allow me, the over-talkative, and bossy daughter of an immigrant who lived in a trailer and had no education, to one day hold enough power to change the world. ‘Saving the trees’ would develop into becoming an environmental lawyer and it is this that I still aspire to do. I believe that how we treat the environment and how we decide to distribute its resources is directly tied to injustices committed against marginalized groups. To whom we either neglect basic resources to or, purposely place in areas with the most environmental degradation. The dream I once had of “saving the trees” has quickly transformed to that of environmental justice. All this I wish to achieve through the power of higher education.

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