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Regis College student wins national environment awardNovember 17, 2008
Carlos Moreno honored for Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Program
Regis College sophomore Carlos Moreno was flown to Washington, D.C. Thursday to receive the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation. He was honored along with Senator Timothy Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation, Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and others who have made outstanding contributions to protect wildlife through education, advocacy, and on-the-ground conservation.
Carlos Moreno, Regis ’11, was the Youth winner of the annual award, known as the “Connie.” According to the Federation, Carlos learned about the correlation of a $14 million cut in youth programs and the steady increase in violence in his Boston, Massachusetts hometown and became a champion for environmental justice. Through his involvement with the Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Project (REEP), the Summer Jobs Campaign, United Youth & Youth Workers of Boston and Boston’s Youth Movement to Reduce Violence, he has rallied hundreds of youth to the cause. To date, Carlos Moreno’s environmental activism has secured $1.75 million for Boston youth jobs and programs.
“People ask me what my work in anti-violence has to do with environmental issues as we usually understand them, “ said Moreno. “Environmental work is about quality of life in the community, the effects of climate change, the growing list of endangered species. What I did, using the ideas of environmental empowerment and environmental justice of REEP, was crosswalk the general understanding of environment with the fact that violence in our cities has diminished the quality of life, endangered whole populations, especially young men of color, and produced a dangerous climate change of its own,” he explained.
The Federation’s annual dinner brings together more than 500 national and local conservation activists, business leaders and volunteers, Members of Congress, and philanthropic leaders to honor our distinguished winners. Previous awardees have included former Vice President Al Gore, former President Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Ted Turner, the Anheuser-Busch Companies, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, and other distinguished recipients.
Moreno, originally from Cape Verde, moved to Dorchester when he was six years old and graduated from West Roxbury High School. In 2007, he became the first of his nine siblings to attend college when he entered Regis College.
For more than four years, Moreno has worked at the Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Program (REEP), part of the Alternative for the Community and the Environment (ACE), to develop leadership in home neighborhoods through an environmental justice curriculum, leadership program, and youth-led organizing projects. In October, 2007, he received the Brower Youth Award from Earth Island Institute’s New Leader Initiative at its annual meeting in San Francisco for working to eliminate youth violence in Boston and to create summer youth employment through the Summer Jobs Campaign in that city. A video documenting Moreno’s work is available through the ACE website at http://www.ace-ej.org/reep.
“Carlos Moreno began making his mark on campus shortly after he arrived a year ago. He chose to be part of the first undergraduate class at Regis open to men, he started a student group called AMUSED dedicated to writing, dance and poetry, and he is majoring in management, communications and sociology to develop the skills he needs to advance his humanitarian values. Carlos has a deep understanding of the reality that nature, human beings, and social environment are all interconnected,” said Regis College President Mary Jane England, MD.
Regis College is a Catholic co-educational community that prepares undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students for engagement and service in a changing world. In the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing and Health Professions, approximately 1,600 students are enrolled in 24 undergraduate majors, graduate degree programs in education, communication, leadership and service, health product regulation, public administration and nursing, and a doctorate in nursing practice. U.S. News and World Report ranks Regis in the top tier of universities with master’s programs in the North. The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) lists Regis among benchmarking colleges for the quality of educational experience. The National League of Nursing recently identified Regis College as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education. The College also provides accredited pre-school and kindergarten programs, and a Life Long Learning Program (LLARC) for retired seniors. Contact information: Marjorie Arons-Barron, aronsbarron@BarronAW.com (617) 969-2707