My First Day with the Greenpeace Semester: Stepping Through the Looking Glass

by Christina-Alexa Liakos

October 10, 2011

This blog is written by Val Abril, a freshman at the University of North Texas, and a current student in the fall 2011 Greenpeace Semester class. Check out her blog below about her first experiences in the program:

Walking down through the entrance of Chinatown in downtown DC, you don’t expect to encounter anything but noodle shops and paper lanterns. Yet, in the midst of the business I happened to find myself in a place like no other around. Although I had been preparing for the moment when I would step through the glass doors of the Greenpeace US Headquarters, I felt extremely nervous as I stood there. What did I have to fear? I was certain the people that were upstairs were just like me! They did not know what awaited them. And even though I did not know what the day (least of all what the semester) would bring, I knew that I had to have an open mind to any possibilities that might be thrown my way. I was sure that this was the place where I needed to be. Not for me – I needed to be here for the generations to come. I needed to learn how to make a difference in a world where one voice is simply drowned in the sea of corruption.

Val petitioning in Gallery Place/Chinatown, DC as part of the Greenpeace Semester

The moment I stepped in everything around me told me that I was in the right place. From that very second, time seemed to speed up. It all came in rushing towards me. The new faces that smiled at me, the amazingly open office space, but most of all the activities that our coordinators explained to us. I felt as if I had arrived to a party that had been created for people just like me. They were all outraged at the carelessness of corporate polluters. Even though none of us had the same background, we were all here for the same purpose, to learn how to organize people to solve problems that most people aren’t aware of. At least not yet.

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